CSD Facilities and Laboratories


Penn State Speech and Hearing Clinic

The Penn State Speech and Hearing Clinic is housed within the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The Clinic sponsors several programs designed to give students clinical experience with a wide variety of communication disorders in subjects of all age groups. Supervision is provided by CSD faculty holding Certificates of Clinical Competence in Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology. The Clinic contains individual and group therapy rooms, audiological suites, and both adult and child therapy rooms.

Speech and Language Services

Child Therapy Program

The Child Therapy Program (CTP) provides services to preschool and school-age children who have delays or disorders in language, fluency, voice, articulation, and phonology, including those with severe speech impairments requiring augmentative and alternative communication.

Adult Therapy Program

The Adult Therapy Program (ATP) provides services to adults (18 years or older) with a variety of speech and language disorders. The adults in this program are from the local geographic area.

Residential Adult Therapy Program

The Residential Adult Therapy Program (RATP) also provides services to adults with a variety of speech and language disorders. The RATP is unique because it is residential in nature. Most of the clients who attend this program live on the Penn State Campus and attend intensive individual and group speech-language therapy.

University Therapy Program

The University Therapy Program (UTP) provides speech-language services to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at Penn State.

Audiological Services

Audiology Clinic

The Audiology Clinic (AC) provides a complete range of audiological assessment and habilitation/rehabilitation services, including adult and pediatric audiological evaluations, otoacoustic emissions, digital hearing aid assessment and dispensing, and central auditory processing evaluations and research. Patients range in age from infancy to geriatrics. Further, the AC provides adult aural rehabilitation therapy and pediatric aural rehabilitation support groups.

Practicum and Externship

In addition to these on-site clinical programs, the coordinators of the Speech and Hearing Clinic also arrange practicum experiences in conjunction with other University programs in Special Education and Human Development and with the State College Area and surrounding school districts and other nearby facilities. Also, all students are required to do an off-campus externship. The externship is a full-time experience and is completed during the last semester of study. Externship sites are selected through consultation with the externship site coordinator and approved by the coordinator.


Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Laboratory

The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Laboratory (Drs. Light and Drager) houses a wide array of state of the art AAC assistive technology designed to meet the needs of individuals with significant communication disabilities. This assistive technology is used to support research, education of families and professionals, and service delivery to people with significant communication disabilities. The AAC lab also serves as a resource center for individuals who require AAC, their families, professionals, and Penn State students and faculty. The AAC lab is composed of two separate rooms, which houses all of the assistive technology, have digital audio and video recording and editing capability, and allow for meeting space.

Stuttering and Fluency Laboratory

Two major projects are being conducted in the Stuttering and Fluency Laboratory which are directed by Professor Gordon Blood and collaborator, Professor Ingrid Blood.

1) The goal of the Psychosocial Aspects of Stuttering Project directed by Professor Gordon Blood builds on their current research to understand the attitudes, perceptions, attributions, and stigma related to stuttering in children, youth, adolescents and adults. Examining the co-occurring psychosocial aspects of stuttering including attitudes and cognitions will help to increase the discipline’s knowledge of the cause, risk factors and maintenance of stuttering. They are also exploring innovative intervention techniques to assist individuals who stutter. 2) The second project directed by Professor Ingrid Blood builds on their published work for the past two decades reporting atypical cerebral laterality and processing in persons who stutter when compared to persons who do not stutter. This new wave of research will use electro-encephalographic (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technologies to examine brain activation during speech production. They will also be discovering why and what technologies can be used to effectively treat stuttering with anti-stuttering technologies including: DAF, FAF (octave-scale), Kay Elemetrics Computerized Speech Lab (CSL 4300B), etc.

Speech Production Laboratory

The goal of the Speech Production Laboratory (Dr. Jimin Lee) is to perform research to 1) understand why less comprehensible speech occurs by examining speech sound and tongue movement, and 2) develop strategies to enhance speakers’ speech clarity. The Speech Production Laboratory houses projects to examine acoustic and kinematic aspects of speech production and their influences on speech intelligibility in speakers with and without speech disorders.

Many individuals with speech disorders experience reduced speech intelligibility secondary to degraded speech acoustic signal. Speech acoustic signal is an outcome of kinematic execution of speech subsystems. Hence, to improve speech intelligibility, the Speech Production Laboratory studies and examines kinematic characteristics (with an emphasis on tongue movement) that influence speech intelligibility and acoustic variables in speakers with and without speech disorders. The Speech Production Laboratory is equipped with electromagnetic articulography (Wave system, Northern Digital Inc.). The system allows examining tongue movement with synchronized acoustic signals in a non-invasive and safe way.

Child Language Development Laboratory

The Child Language Development Laboratory (Dr. Miller) studies typical and atypical language development in children and adults, processing of auditory input, and other cognitive abilities related to speech and language. The lab is equipped to collect high-quality analog and digital audio and video recordings, and has computer hardware and software for digitizing and editing audio as well as video. Several powerful statistical analysis software packages are used to meet a wide variety of research needs. Software for the analysis of language transcripts is also available. The lab is equipped with a number of instruments for assessment of language and cognition, and hardware and software for conducting computer-based experiments.

Laboratory For The Study Of Visual Supports in Communication And Education

The Laboratory For The Study Of Visual Supports in Communication And Education (Dr. Krista Wilkinson) houses a variety of projects that seek to improve the effectiveness of visual supports used in communication intervention for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Many such children use visual schedules, calendars, or communication books that have pictures of upcoming activities, desired foods, friends, or favorite social activities. The studies in this laboratory examine how systematic consideration of the construction of these displays (placement and color of the symbols on the aid, for instance) might influence functional communication or learning outcomes. The research includes basic studies of visual processing conducted within the laboratory as well as applied instructional procedures embedded within storybook reading activities that take place in children’s homes or schools. Future planned studies include neuro-imaging studies that will allow us to examine brain responses to the visual communication symbols presented on the displays.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Developmental Disabilities Laboratory

The AAC and Developmental Disabilities Laboratory (Dr. Kathryn Drager) houses projects that seek to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, specifically school-age children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism. Studies in this laboratory also examine applications for individuals within low-resource communities, where technological solutions may not be readily available. In all contexts, research is ongoing investigating interventions within daily life. The lab is equipped with digital audio and video recording and editing capability.

Orofacial Physiology and Perceptual Analysis Laboratory

The Orofacial Physiology and Perceptual Analysis Laboratory, OPPAL, (Dr. Nicole Etter) focuses on ways humans process and use auditory and somatosensory information from the lips and tongue for the purposes of speech production and feeding. We want to better understand how sensorimotor control for speech behaviors changes as a feature of age, sex, smoking history or musical training. We are especially interested in changes that may occur after neurologic injury (stroke, brain injury, etc) where a speech disorder is present. We use a combination of custom-designed hardware and commercially available clinical tools to allow for the use of a combined methodology of perceptual psychophysics (stimulus detection and discrimination tasks) and motor control and learning strategies. The combined methodology will permit the assessment and perceptual (cognitive) appreciation of tactile inputs delivered to orofacial surfaces (lips, tongue, cheek, chin) during simultaneous performance of visually guided behaviors in the lower face.