Speech clinic receives $20,000 grant

The Bank of America Foundation donated a $20,000 grant that will benefit the Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic, the chairman of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department said.

Christopher Watts, chair of the department of communication sciences and disorders, said the money will be used to offset costs in providing speech and hearing therapy.

Pam Dunn, administrative assistant at the clinic, said that without the grant there would be many families who couldn’t afford the services the clinic provides.

Services at the clinic typically cost $36 an hour with discounts offered for faculty and students, Dunn said.

The clinic helped 90 people from Tarrant, Johnson and Parker counties, and 22 of them received a total of $11,000 in aid because they couldn’t cover the entire cost of therapy, Watts said.

Dunn said the clinic provides a variety of treatments for individuals who are autistic, hearing impaired or have head injuries. They also design the musician’s earplugs used by members of the TCU Drumline to prevent hearing loss, she said.

Janet Lanza, an instructor at the clinic, said the program is unique because patients get individual and group therapy at the same place.

“We try to make our therapy meaningful and hands on with kids,” Lanza said. “We also work with the families so they can carry on and practice what we teach here.”

Once children complete therapy at the clinic, they exhibit a marked difference in behavior because they can communicate their wants and needs more effectively, Lanza said.

Mike Pavell, president of Bank of America in Fort Worth and TCU alumnus, said that the clinic is a worthwhile cause.

“As part of our foundation activities here in Tarrant County, we’re always looking for opportunities to better the community,” Pavell said. “We focus on certain areas, one of which being access to affordable health care.”

Watts said the grant money will be used to help bridge the gap for those who need help but cannot afford to pay the whole cost.

“What Bank of America has done has opened up the opportunity for a lot of kids and adults to get services who couldn’t afford it otherwise,” Watts said.