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The Louisiana Tech Speech and Hearing Center opens new center, facilities

January 14, 2016

CALEB DANIEL

Staff Reporter | csd020@ latech.edu

 

The Louisiana Tech Speech and Hearing Center recently added an additional location and clinics, and its new site came with some important upgrades. These sites include an audiology clinic in Rawle Enterprise Center, along with two other facilities set up in Robinson Hall; including a new augmentative communication lab.

 

“I’m very proud and privileged to be able to bring this type of service to our center and also to provide wonderful training and experiences to our graduate students who participate in the program,” said Daphne Washington, a speech-pathology professional in residence.

 

Ashton Hay, an audiology graduate student, said the new clinic is a vast improvement to the original.

“It’s 10 times better,” Hay said. “With newer equipment, we can test patients more quickly and serve more people.”

An ear on display at the new audiology lab located in the Rawle Enterprise Center–Photo by Avery Bryan

An ear on display at the new audiology lab located in the Rawle Enterprise Center–Photo by Avery Bryan

The clinic, operated by audiology graduate students and faculty supervisors, offers a variety of services including hearing tests, hearing aid evaluations, hearing aid sales and fittings and evaluations for balance, ear-ringing and auditory processing.

Brenda Heiman, director of the School of Communication, said the clinic serves a dual purpose: providing experience to students as well as services to patients.

 

“This is essentially a training facility for the students,” Heiman said. “The faculty supervises the students as they interact with the client.”

 

One such supervisor is Matt Bryan, an associate professor and director of audiological services. Bryan said in addition to the improved equipment, the new site is simply a better space to provide the clinic’s services.

 

“Our setup in Robinson was very cumbersome because the testing booth was actually in Woodard Hall,” Bryan said. “We had to walk patients from the office in Robinson to Woodard to get them tested. Now they have much easier access.”

 

Tech’s doctorate of audiology program, part of the department of communication disorders, is one of only two such programs in Louisiana. Heiman said the program’s expansion was necessary due to its rapid growth.

 

“The university allotted us the space because the program is growing so much that we’ve outgrown Robinson Hall,” Heiman said. “Four years ago we had eight grad students, now we have 19.”

 

Heiman said she would like to see awareness for the audiology program grow to match its new expansion.

 

“Nobody even knew about these services when they were in Robinson, so this felt like a good time to start getting the word out,” she said.

 

Heiman said a future goal of the Speech and Hearing Center is to expand its reach.

 

“We see the occasional client from Monroe or some place like that,” she said. “But nobody really knows about us. Hopefully, if we can get more space and more faculty, we can begin to serve regions beyond Ruston.”

 

For further information on the LTSHC, contact either clinic site. Robinson Hall at 318-257-4766 and Rawle Enterprise Center clinic at 318-257-2438.

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