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Section 4 - MND and Voice Banking

The Speech and Language Therapy department is pleased to be able to support patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) who would like to 'bank' their voice. A 'banked' voice can potentially be used at a later date when a patient experiences communication difficulties as part of their condition. Once a person's voice has been 'banked' it can be used on certain voice output communication aids which speak messages that have been typed on to them. These types of devices often have generic voices with no significant choice as to the type of accent the voice might have. If a patient has banked their voice then it will be their voice that will be used to speak the messages they type. Given our voice is a large part of our identity it is crucial that we are able to offer a voice banking service to our patients with a progressive neurological condition.

There are various websites available that offer a voice banking service which guide the person through a range of audio recordings of their voice which are then stored on the website.  Once recording is completed, a synthesised voice is developed which will endeavour to match the person's tone, pitch and intonation.  The voice recording process requires access to the internet, a good computer (that responds quickly) and a high quality headset/microphone to make the recordings.  The Speech and Language Therapy department, with the help of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, has two laptops and two recording headsets that we can loan to patients for short period of time to allow them to record their voice more easily.

For more information about voice banking, contact the Speech and Language Therapy department on 01388 455200.  The following advice sheet developed by the Motor Neurone Disease Association also provides more information about voice banking: https://www.mndassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/voice-banking-information-sheet-for-professionals.pdf

For information on voice bank training: E-mail: Richard.cave@mndassociation.org





'I feel it is important to relay my experience back to let the staff know they are doing a brilliant job! I would like them to know I appreciated all they did for myself, my family and our beautiful baby girl.'

Patient, Labour Ward, Darlington Memorial Hospital