An Essex-based hospice has launched a new tool to enable people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) to communicate with others.
Farleigh Hospice has introduced Voice Banking, a process to help MND patients who have problems with speech. The tool allows them to record a set list of phrases with their own voice, whilst they still have the ability to do so. When the person is no longer able to use their own voice, they can use a personal synthetic voice to communicate.
One of the hospice’s first patients to benefit from this new service is Jane White. “When I was first diagnosed I knew it may affect my speech, so I asked to see a speech therapist, and they suggested Voice Banking” she says. “Voice Banking can been done at home using your own computer or you can go into a studio. Following the diagnosis I had a lot to deal with and wasn’t confident in using the equipment at home, however my friend Michael runs a recording studio and he kindly agreed to help me.”
“Initially we recorded 10 sample sentences to ensure my voice was suitable, we then went on to record 1,200 sentences. This took 12 hours, over four sessions. The MND association cover all the costs of Voice Banking, including studio time, so there are no financial barriers.
“I never wanted there to be a time when I didn’t have a voice. Voice Banking has enabled me to record my own voice, and say things as I would say them, in my own accent. It means I can tell my family I love them in my own voice, not an electronic voice. It’s not perfect, but it goes a long way to letting people know that I am still there.”
For more information visit Farleigh Hospice