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SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd – Speech therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease!


What is SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd?

SPEAK OUT! Is a therapy regimen tailored to people with Parkinson’s disease to improve their voicing, and in turn, their swallowing. In this program speech is transformed from an automatic function to an intentional task. SPEAK OUT! is usually completed in 12 sessions spanning four weeks. (After that the client transitions to the LOUD Crowd for another four weeks of group therapy.) Clients report improvement in their speaking, their ability to be heard, and their overall quality of life!

LOUD Crowd is the group therapy portion of the program and meets once weekly. The sessions provide maintenance for the skills learned during individual SPEAK OUT! sessions and are a source of camaraderie for members. The University of South Dakota, Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic offers LOUD Crowd for free to SPEAK OUT! graduates.

The SPEAK OUT! And LOUD Crowd therapy regimens were developed at the Parkinson Voice Project in Richardson, TX ( )

Learn more about the parkinson voice project


Where and when can I receive this therapy?

Please contact Liz Hanson at the USD Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic with questions and for scheduling. New clients undergo a 1-hour evaluation session to determine their potential to benefit from the program. Individual SPEAK OUT! sessions are scheduled after that.

We offer locations in Vermillion (on the USD campus), Sioux Falls (on the Sanford campus), and via telehealth!


When should someone with Parkinson’s disease begin speech therapy?

Research shows up to 89% of people with Parkinson’s disease develop difficulty communicating and up to 95% develop difficulty swallowing. To postpone this decline it is optimal to begin speech therapy as soon as possible. Participation in SPEAK OUT! And LOUD Crowd can change the effects that Parkinson’s disease has on your voice. Muscles become weak because they are not used to their full capacity. SPEAK OUT! And LOUD Crowd requires you to use the muscles for speaking and swallowing to their full potential to off-set the impact of the disease.


How much does it cost?

Our clinic uses a sliding-fee scale available for those who wish to pay privately. The USD Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is a provider for most local insurance companies and can bill Medicare and Medicaid. A physician’s order is required for us to bill those sources. Please check with your insurance to determine the co-pay or cost associated with speech evaluation and therapy services.


Bottom line:

Evaluation session (one time): $175

Individual therapy sessions: $60/session

LOUD Crowd (group therapy) is a free service for those who complete the full SPEAK OUT! therapy schedule


For more information:

Dr. Elizabeth K. Hanson

T:  605-658-3870


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