SpeechEasyPD to Provide Helpful Devices for Parkinson’s Patients with Speech Issues

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National Outreach Program Brings Advanced Fluency Treatment at no cost

SpeechEasyPD Models

This Program expresses our continuing effort to provide proven, assistive devices to improve the lives of those with communication challenges

A company that produces a new, technologically advanced device that can help people with speech issues as a result of Parkinson’s disease, called SpeechEasyPD, has announced the launch of a nationwide outreach program. The program involves selecting 10 recipients to receive the devices at no charge. The giveaway of the device and the subsidization of related evaluation costs associated with the prescription and fitting will be paid for by SpeechEasyPD. The 10 recipients will be selected through a nationwide application process, which can be accessed through the SpeechEasyPD website: http://www.speecheasy.com/pd/pop.php

Under this Outreach Program, the 10 people with speech issues will receive devices and fees estimated to be valued at $6,000 each at no charge. The total value of all devices and services provided as part of the program should exceed approximately $60,000.

The selection of recipients will be based on several factors, including financial need and their potential for life-improving benefits such as social and career advancement. To be considered, prospective recipients must complete an application form and answer written questions. More information about the National Outreach Program is available on the SpeechEasyPD Web site (http://www.speecheasy.com/pd/pop.php) or by calling 1-800-551-9042. The entry deadline is July 31, 2015.

“This Program expresses our continuing effort to provide proven, assistive devices to improve the lives of those with communication challenges,” said Alan Newton, President of Greenville-based Janus Development Group. “Over the years, we have seen how our other products have assisted thousands of people, and we foresee SpeechEasyPD doing the same for the segment of the Parkinson’s population that is experiencing speech intelligibility problems. We designed this Program to help those who truly need this product.”

Janus Development Group, the maker of SpeechEasyPD, introduced the product in 2014. SpeechEasyPD is an in-the-ear device which looks like a hearing aid and helps promote fluency in those Parkinson’s patients with speech difficulties.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological and progressive disease which affects both men and women, but more typically men. Among the many symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, patients can experience decreased speech volume, repetitive speech and an overall decrease in speech intelligibility. Any and all of these factors can create communication issues for the patient

Studies have shown that the use of an auditory delay and/or a change in pitch can help increase the speech intelligibility of speech in those with Parkinson’s disease. SpeechEasyPD uses both of these components in a small, discreet device worn in one ear of the client. The auditory delay and/or change in pitch recreates what is known as the ‘choral effect’, in which a person’s repetitive speech is dramatically reduced or even eliminated when they speak or sing in unison with others. The choral effect has been well-documented for decades as a treatment for stuttering, and more recently used as a treatment for those with speech issues related to Parkinson’s disease. Clinical use of SpeechEasyPD has also shown that the utilization of the delay may naturally slow the patient’s speech rate. Often times with Parkinson’s disease, people will exhibit a very fast rate of speech which, in turn, negatively impacts their intelligibility.

According to a small study conducted at Rush University in Chicago in which Parkinson’s patients were fit with a SpeechEasyPD device, participants experienced an increase in their speech intelligibility and a decrease in their repetitive speech, or palilalia, they exhibited. A second study with a larger number of participants is now underway.

SpeechEasyPD was developed by a team of communication disorder researchers at East Carolina University, and is marketed exclusively by Janus Development Group. SpeechEasyPD devices are available via a nationwide network of state licensed, ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association)-certified speech language pathologists. More information about SpeechEasyPD is available at http://www.speecheasypd.com. Janus Development Group is a privately-held S-Corp, and has been developing, marketing and selling in-ear auditory feedback devices since 2001.

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