Callier Expands Services on Richardson Campus
5-Year-Old Facility Offers New Audiology and Speech-Language Programs
Nov. 13, 2008
Five years after opening its doors, the UT Dallas Callier Center’s facility in Richardson has expanded its clinical programs and classes to meet the needs of North Texans.
The cochlear implant program began evaluating candidates and offering audiology follow-up and speech-language services in Richardson in July. The Richardson facility has also expanded its speech-language therapy programs.
For the cochlear implant program, accessibility drove the plan to increase services.
“Since the Dallas Cochlear Implant Program (DCIP) provides cochlear implant services for approximately 450 pediatric cochlear implant recipients, we wanted to provide a more convenient location for our patients who live in the North Dallas area,” said Melissa Sweeney, the program’s manager.
The Callier Center is a part of the DCIP, which also includes UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center.
The Callier Center’s reputation and the Richardson facility’s location drew the Plano Independent School District (PISD) to contract with Callier for student audiology services. Dr. Laura Veazey manages the program, which evaluates students every year in the Regional Day School for the Deaf. The program also evaluates audiological equipment and makes recommendations for future PISD purchases.
Dr. Veazey and one audiology extern travel throughout the district to fit FM equipment on appropriate students. They also regularly monitor the equipment to make sure it is operating properly.
And just like the Callier Center location in Dallas, the Richardson location houses an assistive device clinic that demonstrates and provides assistive technology - including amplified telephones, personal communicators, television listening systems, and signaling devices - for those with hearing impairment.
The Richardson facility is also the home of the interdisciplinary auditory processing evaluation program, which identifies the specific causes of why children with normal hearing may have problems recognizing speech in difficult listening situations, such as noisy classrooms. This program is a cooperative program between speech-language pathology and audiology.
Speech-language therapy programs on the Richardson campus have grown to address neurogenic-based communication disorders and Asperger’s syndrome. There are also programs focusing on children with articulation and motor speech disorders, feeding disorders, autism spectrum disorders, fluency disorders and delayed language development.
“We also offer a variety of individual programs, including our evaluations and treatment for children and adults with augmentative and alternative communication needs,” said Suzanne Bonifert, head of speech-language pathology. “This program is coordinated by Dawn Schoknecht, speech-language pathologist, and includes the exploration of a range of systems, from low-tech to high-tech computerized devices, that allow patients to verbally communicate with others.”
The program growth follows plans for the Richardson campus that were set out when it was founded.
“The initial proposal for the Richardson location was to bring together academic programs, research endeavors and state-of-the-art clinical services for the North Dallas community,” said Donise Pearson, clinical director. “We hold approximately 25 classes each week for UT Dallas students enrolled in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and we open our doors to community groups, including the National Stuttering Association of Dallas.”
During the fiscal year ending August 2008, Callier Center clinicians in Richardson treated more than 2,300 patients. An additional 200 patients were served by the Communication Disorders’ student training programs sponsored by the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.