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Center for Speech and Hearing offers free or low-cost service to locals

Are you suffering from hearing loss or deafness? Have you a speech or language disorder? Has a stroke affected your speech? Do you stutter?

If you are suffering from these or other speech and language disorders, you can get free or low-cost help at the Center for Speech and Hearing on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University, 402 N. Pacific St., Cape Girardeau.

The Community Caring Council’s Aging Task Force held an open house at the Center last Wednesday. Tours were given of the modern facility, which opened last January.

Prior to moving to its new facility, the Center was housed in the Grauel Building next door. The Center originally opened in 1985.

The new location is much larger and features a dedicated audiology suite, a voice analysis and speech acoustics lab, treatment rooms for children and adults, a group treatment room, remote observation by video for both supervisors and care-givers, a large, comfortable waiting room, and much more.

Graduate and senior undergraduate student clinicians enrolled in training programs in the Department of Communication Disorders administer therapy services under the supervision of experienced and certified faculty.

Clientele include children and adults of all ages. They may come as individuals or as groups. They can make their own appointments or can be referred by medical, educational or social services professionals.

Individual treatments cost $15 per session. Amy Herrin, MS CCC-SLP, the clinic coordinator, said similar sessions cost $225 where she worked in the past.

If $15 is too much, there is a sliding scale fee based upon income eligibility. Siblings of clients and Southeast Missouri State University faculty members can receive a $5 discount. Full time students can get a $10 discount.

If clients volunteer to be part of a research project or group therapy, their sessions are free of charge.

Evaluations cost $200, but there are $50 and $100 discounts available for evaluations based upon the same criteria. Again, if clients are part of a research project, their evaluation is free.

The Center does not bill Medicare or insurance companies, however, clients may submit their bills to their insurance companies for reimbursement if they wish.

“We do a lot of screenings out in the community,” Herren said. In addition to the University’s School for Young Children (ages 2-5) and the employee wellness fair, the Center conducts screenings at Cape Christian, Trinity Lutheran, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Mary elementary schools.

“Being a small clinic, we really try to give individual attention,” Herrin said.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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