Grants help provide services to those with communication impairments

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Rock Island, Ill.–In the last year, Augustana College’s Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing received $22,500 in grants and awards from the Mel McKay Charitable Trust, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Doris and Victor Day Foundation, Rauch Family Foundation and the Royal Ball Run for Autism.

“We will be able to work with more individuals who have communication impairments,” said Dr. Allison Haskill, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) and the center’s director. “By offering scholarships, we are able to provide services to individuals who otherwise may not be able to afford them, and at the same time, we also can provide our Augustana student clinicians with a more robust clinical experience.”

The CSD clinic has received a grant of $1,000 from Mel McKay Charitable Trust for the past three years. These funds defray the cost of one-year audiological services for approximately 10-15 clients by covering the cost of an initial hearing assessment, consultation and evaluation for hearing aids or other treatment options.

A grant of $2,500 received from Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois is a part of this year’s funding cycle of RMHC, which distributes approximately $70,000 to 22 organizations. Augustana was the only higher education institution to receive funding.

The Doris and Victor Day Foundation donated $3,000 for Rock Island residents and residents in the Quad Cities, and the Rauch Family Foundation donated $1,000 to help to cover cost of services Rock Island residents. A $15,000 grant received from the Royal Ball Run for Autism is being used to cover scholarships for children with autism spectrum disorders who will attend Augustana’s summer and academic year clinic sessions.

Augustana’s Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing is the only clinic of its kind on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities that offers low-cost/no-cost speech, language and hearing services. Some of its clients travel up to 60 miles from rural Scott County or Rock Island County, several times per week, to receive assessment and intervention for speech, language, fluency, voice disorders, and language-based reading disabilities.

The center offers all of its services on a sliding-fee scale to help as many as 85 clients per week. The charges are much more affordable when compared with the rate of similar services at a private practice or hospital.

“Families affected by disability have many expenses, and the majority does not have insurance that covers speech-language or audiology services,” stated Dr. Haskill.

Doctoral-level professors, master’s-level clinicians and trained undergraduates have been offering these services to the community for almost 70 years. The level of care is regarded with respect throughout the region, and Augustana’s CSD majors receive a superior education in their field through hands-on training in the center. Clients are routinely referred by pediatricians, schools, hospitals and social service organizations.

About Augustana:

Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Current students and alumni include 153 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 13 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world’s most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.