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Portland State’s Speech-Language Pathologists to Help Transgender People

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Portland State University has started a free lab offering help to people who identify as transgender, or anywhere on the gender spectrum, in developing communication style and voice that suits them.

“Their voice doesn’t match who they are, who they want to be and who they’re trying to present as,” Jeff Conn, a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist and associate clinical professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences who runs the lab, said.

“But if we can shape their voice into something that is more congruent with who they are and who they’re presenting to be, it’s no longer a betrayal. It becomes more them,” he added.

The first session, which began on October 3, is being offered by the University’s Gender Communication Lab in its College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, which is part of the school’s Oregon Scottish Rite Speech and Language Clinic.

Divided into two sessions, six participants will spend an hour in individual sessions and another hour in a group setting with a partner and graduate student clinician. The university will offer free nine-week sessions every school term.

The sessions are also open for public, but spots can be reserved for the university students, staff and faculty.

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