Community Clinic

Center for Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders

Community Clinic Services

SUNY Cortland’s Center for Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders provides services to children and adults with a variety of speech, language, voice, swallowing, cognition, and hearing disorders. Graduate student clinicians provide free evaluation and therapy services under the supervision of certified speech-language pathologists across the following areas:

Pediatric and School-Aged Speech and Language Disorders

The ability to express oneself and understand others effectively can be impacted by language disorders, learning disabilities, language processing abilities, and literacy skills. Speech problems or problems with producing sounds or words clearly can impact successful social engagement and overall interactions. Speech and language evaluations can help determine where a child has difficulties and develop a support plan. Therapy services can prioritize each child’s area of need and enhance their skill and overall communication abilities.  

Brain Injury Related Speech, Language, and Cognitive Disorders

After a stroke or other type of brain injury, individuals may have difficulty with communication, and thinking. Without support, communication challenges following a brain injury can often lead to embarrassment, relationship problems, and even depression. Our clinic is prepared to offer comprehensive evaluation to determine areas of difficulty and strength. With the support of therapy, many individuals will see improvements over time. Individualized treatment plans may include improving clarity of speech, ability to understand others, expression of thoughts and ideas, socially appropriate behavior, judgment, reasoning, memory and reading and writing skills.

Voice Disorders

Voice disorders can happen at any age and have a variety of causes. These may include structural changes to the voice mechanism, such as vocal nodules; neurogenic causes, such as nerve damage causing vocal fold/cord paralysis; and functional disorders resulting from inefficient use of the vocal mechanism. These examples are just a few of the potential causes for voice concerns. Voice disorders are defined by the individual who believes that their voice is not meeting their daily needs, even if others do not perceive an issue. Whenever a voice concern has persisted beyond two weeks, it is recommended that individuals seek a referral to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor who can view the voicing mechanism and diagnose the problem. The ENT will provide medical clearance prior to initiating evaluation and treatment. 

Stuttering and Cluttering Disorders

Fluency disorders (e.g., stuttering or cluttering) are the interruption in the flow of speaking often characterized by repetitions, prolongations and/or blocking of sounds or syllables. These disfluencies can be accompanied by tension, speaking avoidance, and/or social and emotional impacts. Fluency services are a holistic approach that can improve individuals' effective communication, increase self-confidence and advocacy as well as increase participation in social settings.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC supports individuals with complex communication needs or significant expressive communication difficulties. AAC can be used to supplement current speech or it can be used as an alternative method of communication. AAC includes both low-technology and high-technology devices, including speech generative devices. We provide services to both pediatric and adult clients who would benefit from AAC.  

Swallowing Disorders

Difficulty eating and swallowing, a condition called "dysphagia" can impact persons of all ages. A child who has been classified as a “picky eater” or is demonstrating difficulties with sensory/motor components of developmental feeding, individuals recovering their swallowing skills after a stroke, or individuals with a history of head and neck cancer may need dysphagia therapy. Center for Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders at SUNY Cortland works closely with the speech-language pathologists at local hospitals/healthcare centers to refer clients in need of swallowing imaging studies called "Modified Barium Swallow Studies" or "Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluations of Swallowing". Our approach to dysphagia management is collaborative, person-centered, and evidence based. 

Gender Affirming Voice Services

Gender Affirming Voice Services are dedicated to individuals who want to develop communication styles that are aligned with their gender identity and expression across all settings. These services are designed to educate and train clients to modify their voice through vocal pitch, intonation, resonance, articulation, and voice quality as well as nonverbal communication. Gender affirming voice therapy can guide individuals to communicate in a way that feels authentic to them.  

Parkinson Voice Project® SPEAK OUT!®

Approximately 90% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease are at risk of developing a weak voice that may lead to difficulties with swallowing. The Parkinson Voice Project has developed a unique speech treatment to help patients regain and retain their speech and communication while minimizing swallowing issues. This program is called SPEAK OUT!®.

What is SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd®?

The SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® programs were developed by the Parkinson Voice Project in Richardson, TX. SPEAK OUT!® is a therapy designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease to improve their voice and swallowing. Muscles in the throat can become weak because they’re not used with purpose and strength. SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® teach how to use those muscles differently for speaking and swallowing so talking and eating stay healthy and strong longer. In this program, speech is changed from talking like always to doing it better! SPEAK OUT!® is usually completed in 12 sessions across four weeks. In only four weeks, people say they’ve improved their speaking, their ability to be heard, and their overall quality of life.

When SPEAK OUT!® is finished, people can join the LOUD Crowd®, a group therapy that meets once a week to keep tuned up and improving. But the best parts are working with our therapists and students, plus being with other people who are doing the same thing.

The Speech, Language and Hearing Center is located in the Professional Studies Building on the university's campus. It is the clinical training site for graduate students in the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department. All clinical services are free and supervised by New York state-licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national accrediting body for the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. 

For appointments or more information, contact the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department at 607-753-5423. 

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Graduate Student Clinical Experience

The Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders is the campus training site for graduate student clinical experiences in the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department. Graduate students may also have the opportunity to provide community-based outreach services at local preschools, schools, or adult care facilities. Clinical experiences begin the first semester of the graduate program. This hands-on learning experience is invaluable for externships and future career goals.

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders education program in speech-language pathology at SUNY Cortland is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.