PSPA offer funding for voice banking services provided through a partnership with SpeakUnique.
Voice banking is a process of recording your voice and using the recording to generate a personalised synthetic voice. This synthetic voice can then be used on a device, where it converts text to speech, allowing you to communicate with a voice which is identifiably your own.
SpeakUnique provide a multidisciplinary team combining expertise in speech science, speech and language therapy and human-computer interaction, this has enabled them to develop state of the art voice banking technology. This technology allows people to create high-quality, personalised synthetic voices from only a short recording of an individuals own voice or design based on a set of desired characteristics.
SpeakUnique are the only service at present who can offer voice banking to those with some impairment of speech through their Voice Repair service and offer a bespoke Voice Design service for those with no speech so they can choose how they will sound.
PSPA can fund one of three different voice banking services for people living with a diagnosis of PSP or CBD depending on their speech needs. You will need to have discussed voice banking with your speech and language therapist who will assess you to ensure you are suitable to bank your voice using one of the three services.
- Voice Build- for those who have not yet experienced changes to their speech and wish to create a synthetic replica of their own voice
- Voice Repair- for those whose speech has already started to change, e.g. through slurring or slowness. These changes can be ‘repaired’ in the synthetic voice to create a healthy sounding voice
- Voice Design – for those who have no intelligible speech and wish to use old recordings of their voice to create a personalised synthetic voice or alternatively wish to use voice donors (with matching regional accent, gender and age) to create a bespoke synthetic voice.
It is possible that funding for voice banking via SpeakUnique can be applied for alongside a PSPA Support Grant for example, to provide headphones to record your voice or funding towards a device to access your banked voice . N.B Only one Support Grant can be applied for within a calendar year.
To apply for funding for a SpeakUnique service, you will need to visit their website, create an account and a sample synthetic voice, following this you will be able to access the PSPA funding application form, you will need your speech and language therapist’s details to complete the form. PSPA will contact yourself and your speech and language therapist as part of the application process.
Listen to Samanta’s experience of banking her voice with SpeakUnique during episode six of the PSPA Podcast, here. You can also read Jacqueline’s and Sue’s experiences below.
For more information or support in accessing the service please contact the Helpline on 0300 0110 122 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org