Georgia Southern University’s RiteCare Center for Communications Disorders is asking community members to lend their voices in an effort to help those who struggle with speech to improve their communication.
The RiteCare Center’s third annual Voice Drive is happening now through May. Individuals are encouraged to collect voice recordings to submit to a human voicebank. Individuals with voice or speech loss from conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), apraxia, aphasia and Huntington’s disease, among others, can later access the recordings to help create a voice for themselves.
“A voice is unique to an individual, and the loss of a voice may result in a loss of one’s identity,” said Tory Candea, clinical coordinator at the RiteCare Center. “The use of Augmentative Alternative Communication (ACC) can assist those who have lost their voices, yet the standard voices programmed on ACC devices may sound mechanical, robotic and unnatural.”
Approximately 3,500 sentences are needed to create a complete digital voice. This takes an average of five to seven hours, and recordings are broken up into 10-15 minute sessions over the course of several weeks.
“The more individuals who donate their voices, the more options a person who has lost their voice is able to choose from, allowing them the opportunity to find a voice that better matches their personality and identity,” noted Candea. “By hosting this voice drive we hope to help these individuals retrieve control over their voice and improve their overall ability to communicate.”
Last year the RiteCare Center collected 9,696 sentences and hopes to collect 15,000 sentences this year.
Recordings can be submitted from your own home via your own schedule. You will need a computer and a microphone headset. The deadline to submit recordings is May 2.
For additional information or to register, please contact Tory Candea at firstname.lastname@example.org.