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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

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News contact: Jenni Bullington, UTD, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu

U.T. Dallas' Callier Center To Offer
Voice Training For The Elderly

'Energize Your Voice' Sessions May Help Strengthen Weak Vocal Muscles

        RICHARDSON, Texas (Sept. 24, 2002) - Beginning in late October, the Voice Disorders Program in the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will offer weekly training sessions to help senior citizens strengthen weak vocal muscles, a condition that commonly affects the elderly.

        The "Energize Your Voice" group gatherings will be held at the Callier Center, located at 1966 Inwood Road (between I-35 and Harry Hines Boulevard), on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. starting Oct. 30. They will be led by licensed speech pathologist Maria D'Antoni, clinical coordinator for the Voice Disorders Program, who will work with participants by teaching them exercises targeted at dealing with weak voices. D'Antoni emphasized that vocal conditioning is especially important for the elderly.

        "Vocal cords, like other muscles in the body, weaken with age, particularly in those aged 65 and older and those who overuse their voice," D'Antoni explained. "The exercises I plan to teach will include postural adjustments, breathing, neck and throat relaxation and exercises to increase tone of the larynx, lips, tongue and jaw. If done on a regular basis, the drills can help to strengthen the voice and, ultimately, the spirit."

        Vocal unsteadiness, loss of range and voice fatigue may be associated with typical aging changes. These changes may cause a person to be identified as "old," even over the telephone. But research shows that irreversible aging may not cause the variations. Rather, they may be consequences of poor respiratory and abdominal muscle conditioning and many years of poor voice usage. With appropriate therapy, many of the characteristics can be eliminated and a more youthful sound can be restored.

        According to D'Antoni, results may be noticeable in six to eight sessions, but participants can choose to take part in as many or as few sessions as they like.

        The cost is $20 per meeting, but financial assistance may be provided in some cases. For more information, please contact D'Antoni at (214) 905-3135. Individuals with significant vocal weakness are advised to consult an ear, nose and throat physician prior to initiating the program.

About the Callier Center for Communication Disorders
         The Callier Center works to advance knowledge and services in communication disorders. The center accomplishes its mission by providing integrated programs that prepare future clinicians and researchers, and offers the community state-of-the-art clinical and educational services and support that contribute to the identification, treatment and prevention of communication disorders.

About UTD
        The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 13,000 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's Web site at http://www.utdallas.edu.


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August 03, 2013