The Voice Clinic in the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic provides diagnostic and treatment services for individuals of all ages with voice problems. All diagnostic and therapy sessions are conducted by graduate-level student-clinicians, under the direct supervision of licensed and certified faculty members of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Diagnostics

Diagnostic services are provided through the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic for individuals of all ages. Referrals are accepted from otolaryngologists, referring speech-language pathologists, and individuals.

The voice evaluation includes: (1) an initial interview designed to address the specific presenting problem(s); (2) clinical measurement of the voice using objective, acoustic and perceptual techniques; (3) materials and information for optimizing vocal health; and (4) a period of trial voice therapy to determine prognosis and goals for therapy. Clinical measurement of a singer's voice may also include the Voice Range Profile.

Therapy

Therapy services are provided through the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic for individuals of all ages. Referrals are accepted from otolaryngologists, referring speech-language pathologists, and individuals. Treatment sessions are individualized, and are usually scheduled weekly or bi-weekly. Services are provided for individuals with diagnoses such as vocal fold nodules, vocal fold paralysis, tremor, presbyphonia, puberphonia and muscle tension dysphonia.

Additionally, specialized services are offered in the following areas:

Voice Professionals

The Voice Clinic specializes in providing services for voice professionals looking to improve their voice use. These professionals, who depend on their voices for their livelihood, include but are not limited to: singers, actors, broadcasters, teachers, courtroom lawyers, clergy and telemarketers. The voice habilitation services provided to these individuals are designed to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the voice for speaking and singing. These services are different than rehabilitative services for a voice disorder and, instead, focus on improving a healthy voice. Insurance does not generally cover services for healthy voices, and sessions rates are by session or by the semester. If you are concerned about a voice disorder, please see your primary care physician or an otolaryngologist (ENT) for a referral for speech services. Contact our clinic to be added to the wait list for voice training services.

Transgender voice

Services include a diagnostic evaluation and individual therapy sessions to address gender affirming voice and communication skills. Gender affirming training addresses aspects of communication including pitch, intonation, articulation, resonance, language, nonverbal communication, and more. The training can be tailored to your preferences for more feminine attributes, more masculine attributes or a non-binary communication style. These services are generally not covered by insurance, and rates are by the session or by the semester if not covered by insurance. If you are concerned about a voice disorder, please see your primary care physician, endocrinologist, or an otolaryngologist (ENT) for a referral for speech services. Insurance often covers speech services for voice disorders. Contact our clinic to be added to the wait list for voice training services.

Voice Evaluation and Treatment for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd®
A two-part speech therapy program to help individuals with Parkinson’s Disease regain and maintain effective communication - the SPEAK OUT! followed by The LOUD Crowd therapy - is now offered at the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center.

SPEAK OUT! places emphasis on speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. Graduate student clinicians, under the supervision of Karen Bryant, Associate Clinical Professor, work with clients through a series of speech, voice, and cognitive exercises outlined in a SPEAK OUT! Workbook. 

Upon completion of SPEAK OUT!, patients transition to The LOUD Crowd. This maintenance program consists of weekly group sessions led by graduate speech-language pathology clinicians. The SPEAK OUT! exercises are performed, and group members provide support, encouragement, and accountability to one another. 

Participation in The LOUD Crowd, along with daily home practice and six-month re-evaluations, has been shown to help patients maintain their communication skills throughout the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about SPEAK OUT! and The LOUD Crowd contact Karen Bryant at karen-bryant@uiowa.edu or browse the Parkinson Voice Project website. To schedule a speech evaluation, contact the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic, at 319-335-8736.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment for Individuals with Parkinson Disease
The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) program is designed to improve functional intelligible communication by increasing vocal loudness. LSVT consists of 4 sessions per week for 4 weeks (16 sessions in a month). Each session lasts 50-60 minutes.

The treatment involves intensive daily training sessions along with family-assisted practice sessions at home and emphasizes high vocal effort. The individual is encouraged to “THINK LOUD.”

Diagnostic and therapy services are provided by graduate-level student-clinicians who are supervised by a clinical faculty member certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment technique. Follow-up sessions are scheduled as needed.

What to do if you are interested in LSVT?

Obtain a prescription from your physician for a speech evaluation and speech therapy 4 times/week x 4 weeks.

Contact an Otolaryngologist (ENT) for an endoscopic voice evaluation to rule out other voice problems such as vocal fold nodules.

Contact the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic to schedule the LSVT initial diagnostic session.

For additional information about the LSVT program, visit the LSVT Global website.

Additional Resources
For additional information about Parkinson Disease, visit these sites:

American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc.

Cedar Rapids Metro Parkinson's Association

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

National Parkinson Foundation

Clinical Coordinator

Louise Pinkerton, M.M., M.A., CCC-SLP
Clinical Assistant Professor