The voice banking process

For health and social care professionals logo

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an important clinical intervention for many people with motor neurone disease (MND). Some people with MND may want to bank their voice for future use within high-tech AAC systems.

This information is for health and social care professionals. It gives an overview of what the voice banking process involves.

The voice banking process

Depending on the service provider, the process will vary slightly, but follows a similar pattern:

  1. The person with MND registers with their preferred service provider and pays any required fees.
  2. An initial calibration test will take place to establish whether the recording environment and microphone are suitable. This is straightforward to do and no technical knowledge or skill is required.
  3. The person with MND can change settings such as the language, if this is available.
  4. An initial set of screening phrases are recorded and then automatically sent to the service provider for analysis.
  5. If the recordings are deemed to be suitable, the person with MND will be notified that they can continue to record the remaining phrases. It may take more than one attempt to get the optimum sound when recording the screening sentences, so the person should not be discouraged if the first attempt is unsuccessful.

Professional support

Family members and carers may need to be trained how to support people with the process of voice banking, if help is needed to operate computer controls or set up the microphone.

Professionals may also need to provide support with technical issues, such as:

  • how to download the app or operate the software online
  • choosing which version of the software is most suitable for which computer
  • login and password details
  • how to operate the computer control of the software
  • how to set up the microphone and volume levels

After recording

Once recording is complete, the voice banking service provider will create a synthetic voice. This can then be downloaded on to a suitable speech-generating communication device, with software or a programme that allows selection and use of the personal synthetic voice. The synthetic voice created will vary depending on the voice banking service used.

Any synthetic voice created should be suitable for use on Microsoft Windows-based software and may also be compatible with Android devices. Apple iOS devices, such as iPads, are less likely to support the synthetic voice, although some apps do allow for this: see Voice banking equipment and services

Also in this section:

Find out more

If you would like more information about AAC, please contact our Communication Aids Coordinator or our MND Connect helpline.

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