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The SUVAG Polyclinic is a health institution dealing with specialistic consultative health protection of persons with problems of speech communication. In medical diagnostics and rehabilitation of the hearing and speech impaired (hearing impairments, undevelopped or underdevelopped speech, voice and speech disorders), theoretic hypothesis, methodic procedures and electroacoustic equipment of the verbotonal method are aplied. Besides diagnostics and rehabilitation of persons with problems of speech communication (impairments of hearing and/or speech), SUVAG has been engaged in education and social care for hearing and/or speech impaired children, scientific research activity and verbotonal education of experts in Croatia and abroad. Foreign languages are tought according to the structural-global audiovisual method (application of the verbotonal system) and publishing activities, construction, maintenance and distribution of facilities for the needs of the basic and supporting activities are carried out.

In 1961, the Parliamentary Executive Council of Croatia established the Center for the Rehabilitation of Hearing and Speech, an institution for rehabilitation and education using the verbotonal method of academician Petar Guberina for persons with hearing and speech impairments. In 1974, the Center was renamed and became SUVAG Center for the Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech. In 1994, the SUVAG Center became property of the City of Zagreb and since then it operates under its full name: Polyclinic for the Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech SUVAG. Since 1967, the institution has had the same address: Ulica kneza Ljudevita Posavskog 10 in Zagreb. Since 1996, SUVAG Polyclinic has been additionally registered as a scientific research institution, conducting researches in the field of humanistic and medical sciences.

From 1961 to 1981, head of the institution was academician Petar Guberina, its founder. Since 1981, head of the institution is professor Marija Paškvalin.

As of January 2006, the SUVAG Polyclinic has 264 employees. Experts from different fields (medical, social, humanistic, artistic, and technical) with additional verbotonal training are engaged in the realization of the programs of activities with the target to enforce and advance the health care of persons with impaired hearing and/or speech.

The organizational structure of the SUVAG Polyclinic results from the specific character of this health institution and, in accordance with this fact, from the relation of the basic and accompanying activities aimed, first of all, at the implementation and improvement of health protection of the hearing and/or speech impaired. The segments of the entire activity proceed at the level of departments and sections, mutually connected by the inseparable processes of work and cooperation in development and application of the verbotonal theory. So in the Polyclinic the following organizational units are found:

  1. Department for Medical Diagnostics and Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech and within it Diagnostic section; Section for Individual-Outpatient Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech and Fitting of Hearing Aids, and Center for Cochlear Implant and New Technologies; Section for Therapy of Speech Disorders – Speech Pathology
  2. Department for Medical Rehabilitation and Education of Children-Patients of Preschool Age (Preschool rehabilitation)
  3. Department for Medical Rehabilitation and Education of Children-Patients of School Age (School rehabilitation)
  4. Department for Development and Scientific Research and within it Library, Video-Studio, Computer Lab and School for Foreign Languages.
  5. Common Services: Legal and personnel service, Economic-financial service and Supporting services

The SUVAG Polyclinic is an institution for the rehabilitation of listening and speech of children and adults. SUVAG is an acronym of the name: Guberina's Universal Verbotonal Auditory System (Systeme Universel Verbotonal d'Audition Guberina). The method used in the rehabilitation of listening and speech at the SUVAG Polyclinic is the verbotonal method.

The verbotonal method was defined in Petar Guberina's Linguistics of Speech. The speech is the structure emerging from sound and body using brain as a processor of speech content and its forms. Verbotonal principles are:

  • Individual adaptation to outer and inner circumstances enabling the transfer-dislocation of the optimal intelligibility of the speech;
  • The auditory system is but a part of a well organized spacioception system which links the sense of touch, proprioception, vestibular system, the sense of hearing and the sense of sight;
  • The whole body participates in emitting and receiving speech messages. Phonetic rhythmics is a cluster of pedagogical proceedings, based on phonetic and acoustic characteristics of speech sounds, and on the body through which they are realized in space.
  • The verbotonal system realizes listening using bodily conductivity, sensitivity of each organism to the low pitch frequencies, optimal reception, emitting, and receiving speech messages using special electro-acoustic equipment, and thus enabling acquiring of good speech both in mother tongue and in foreign language.

According to the verbotonal method the following is done:

  • Diagnostics and rehabilitation of listening and speech in children and adults with impaired hearing;
  • Diagnostics and rehabilitation of speech and voice difficulties in children and adults;
  • Assistance is given to children whose speech is undeveloped or underdeveloped;
  • Foreign languages are taught according to global-structural-audio-visual method (SGAV);
  • Scientific projects and research are conducted.

Beside diagnostics and rehabilitation of persons with speech communication problems (auditory and/or speech impairments), the Polyclinic's activities are also educating impaired hearing and/or speech children, educating specialists of different vocations – in Croatia and abroad – for application of the verbotonal method, and publication activities.

The SUVAG Polyclinic is a specific institution specialized for all kinds of problems connected to hearing-listening, speech and language and our services are used by a great number of clients from Zagreb, the Republic of Croatia and abroad: about 1000 patients daily, more than 80% of them being children with hearing and/or speech impairments.

The SUVAG Polyclinic is an institution of the outpatient type so that children whose parents do not live in the Zagreb region, are placed in foster families. Life of a hearing impaired child in a family is in accordance with the basic principles of the rehabilitation and integration (normal speaking surroundings and natural environment for a child's development).

Integration of hearing and/or speech impaired children is the basic goal of the verbotonal method. The rehabilitation of listening and speech and education as the parallel and inseparable forms of work are the ways toward complete life and successful integration of a hearing and speech impaired child into regular system of education at first, and into working environment afterwards. It is carried out along with the rehabilitation or during rehabilitational-educational program, at the moment of satisfactory psychophysical promptitude of a child and in the way that can ensure its further successful development.

Contact:

Polyclinic for the Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech SUVAG
Ulica kneza Ljudevita Posavskog 10, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Tel.: +385 (0)1 4629 600
Fax: +385 (0)1 4655 166

E-mail: zagreb@suvag.hr
www.suvag.hr