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Neurogenic Speech Disorders lab opens
Tuesday, November 01, 2005

 SUNY Fredonia has added a Neurogenic Speech Disorders Laboratory to its facilities serving the Speech Pathology and Audiology graduate program. The $20,500 construction project also included new space for preschool children from the Silver Creek Montessori school who receive services in the Youngerman Center. 

The Neurogenic Speech Disorders Laboratory is outfitted with the latest equipment in the speech pathology field. “The lab is our first and will provide the space and equipment to test special populations of individuals with neurogenic disabilities,” said Dr. Kim Tillery, chair of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Dr. Paul Blanchet, a member of the SUNY Fredonia Class of 1988 and one of the newest assistant professors in Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, was instrumental in designing the new facility and is using it  to study neuromotor speech disorders, including  Parkinson’s disease and other voice, resonancy, fluency and articulation ailments.

Dr. Blanchet, in photo at right, noted that he is eager to involve graduate students in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology in his laboratory activities.  “I am really looking forward to working with our graduate students and allowing them to help with my research,” Dr. Blanchet said.  “This is a great opportunity for them to get their feet wet and complete projects for their theses or directed studies.  This new laboratory is going to be crucial to our study of neuromotor speech disorders.” 

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, whose full-time graduate program now includes 27 students, is expected to double within the next year.

The second portion of the project allowed the Henry C. Youngerman – Silver Creek Montessori preschool to expand its cramped facility.  The original classroom contained up to 12 children between the ages of three and five – half of whom require speech therapy – as well as six SUNY Fredonia graduate students five days a week. 

Finding room for small group activities, physical treatment or occupational therapy could be difficult, and the removal of an existing wall to open the preschool classroom into W116 Thompson Hall alleviated the pressure. 

"The additional room should help accommodate the needs of the therapists, students and children,” said Michele Notte, director of the Youngerman Center . 

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