Carly Link

story provided by Ball State University

MUNCIE, Indiana (4-19-19) — Through an immersive learning course at Ball State University, sophomore Carly Link of Fort Recovery, Ohio is working to develop thickened beverages to aid individuals suffering from dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, a condition common in all ages.

The goal of the project is to find the best recipes for thickened liquids to help people with dysphagia get nutrition and not risk inhaling food and drink. The students’ work is in collaboration with their community partners, Meridian Health Pediatrics of Muncie and St. Vincent of Indianapolis.

Link said –

“We are trying to develop the perfect recipe that clinics will be able to use in the near future. As we conduct trials and gather data, we compare the viscosity and the IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative) level results to the standardization for thickened liquids.”

Led by Mary Ewing, a clinical lecturer of speech pathology and audiology, 16 students are using various stirring methods and recipes while collecting data that they will present at the end of the project. The students are gaining hands-on experience while obtaining knowledge that those outside of the project may not have been exposed to.

Working toward a degree in speech pathology and audiology, accompanied by a minor in psychology of human development, Link would like to work in speech therapy and help to give patients a better quality of life.

Link said:

“Speech therapy covers a variety of subject matters, but communication, cognition, and swallowing are a few of the major components to life. As a speech therapist, I will be able to assist in the improvement for many individuals.”

Link said that Ball State is preparing her for a bright future.

“The University has provided me with opportunities that enhance my research abilities and my clinical skills,” Link said. “I wouldn’t have this opportunity at other colleges, and Ball State is preparing me for the future in many ways.”