Linda Broadbent, Janet Estis, Camryn Johnson and Rita Felton. The W’s NSSLHA organization made a $500 donation to the to the Parkinson Voice project in memory of Mr. Al Broadbent in April.

Richardson, Texas — Parkinson Voice Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the voices of people with Parkinson’s Disease, named Mississippi University for Women’s Speech-Language Pathology Department a 2024 SPEAK OUT! Grant Program recipient.

Grant recipients include hospitals, universities, private practices and other organizations providing speech therapy across the United States and abroad. Each clinical education grant recipient receives training for their speech-language pathologists and students, SPEAK OUT! eLibrary access and the opportunity for SPEAK OUT! workbooks and other materials.

“The grant provides free training for four faculty members every year as well as student codes, so our students can complete the student course at no charge. Once completing the course, faculty members are licensed SPEAK OUT! providers. This allows us to serve our community members who have Parkinson’s disease by helping them regain and retain their speaking and swallowing,” said Jennifer Pounders, clinic director for The W’s Speech and Hearing Center.   

The SPEAK OUT! Grant Program honors the late Dr. Daniel R. Boone, a world-renowned speech-language pathologist who recognized, in the 1950s, that individuals with Parkinson’s could improve their communication by “speaking with intent.” Based on Boone’s teachings and developed by Parkinson Voice Project, the SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program is a highly effective, comprehensive program that helps people with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders regain and retain their speech and swallowing. By combining individual and group SPEAK OUT! Therapy with ongoing patient and family education, people with Parkinson’s learn to transition speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

“Up to 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at risk of losing their ability to speak. In addition, swallowing complications account for 70% of the mortality rate in this patient population. Our vision at Parkinson Voice Project is to make quality speech therapy accessible to people with Parkinson’s worldwide,” said Samantha Elandary, Parkinson Voice Project’s founder and chief executive officer.

As a 2024 SPEAK OUT! Grant Program recipient, The W is committed to offering Parkinson Voice Project’s SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program to help people with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders in their community.

“Currently, we have an in-person SPEAK OUT! group that meets once a week in our clinic as well as an online group with members from Starkville, Jackson and other Mississippi areas,” Pounders said.

Community members interested in the program can contact Kim Coverdale at The W’s Speech and Hearing Center, (662) 329-7270. Clients will be evaluated first to determine if the therapy program would be appropriate. If the program is recommended, the client will complete 4-5 weeks of individual training twice a week. Upon completion of individual therapy, the client transitions to a SPEAK OUT! Group once a week. The individual therapy and group sessions can be completed in person or via zoom.

About Parkinson Voice Project 

Parkinson Voice Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization solely dedicated to improving speech and communication in individuals with Parkinson’s. The organization is headquartered in Richardson, Texas and has trained more than 10,000 clinicians in more than 40 countries, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Israel, Greece, Lebanon, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. For information, visit:

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.