We all take the ability to voice our wishes and feelings for granted. However many people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) may have problems with speech and communications.
"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."
Farleigh Hospice has introduced Voice Banking, a process that allows a person 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 first patients to benefit from this new service is Jane White, this is her story...
“When I was first diagnosed I knew it may affect my speech, so I asked to see a speech therapist. I was referred to Claire, a speech therapist used by Farleigh, and she suggested Voice Banking.
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 owns Studio Six in Witham 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, with my own voice.”