Some people with MND lose the ability to speak and need to use an aid to communicate. However, many communication aids, such as an iPad or eye gaze machine, come preinstalled with synthetic voices which sound generic.
'SpeakUnique' gives people with MND, and anyone one else who needs it, the opportunity to create a personalised synthetic voice so they can sound more like themselves. For the first time in Scotland a wide range of Scottish (and other) accents will be able available for use across various communications devices – and can be built all from the comfort of your own home.
The service was developed at the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND research at the University of Edinburgh. Euan MacDonald, who founded the centre, lost his voice as a result of MND. He came up with the idea when he realised he didn’t want his children to remember him by a voice that wasn’t his own.
SpeakUnique offers several options depending on how, or if, a person’s speech is affected:
An option is also available for people without a medical diagnosis to record and save their voice, just in case something was to happen to their speech in the future.
To find out more visit www.speakunique.co.uk and remember we’ll cover the costs for anyone with MND in Scotland, all you have to do is let the team know you have MND.
A special thanks to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Edinburgh for their generosity in providing funding so people with MND in Scotland can access this service.
Craig Stockton | Chief Executive
27 July 2022
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