Communication aids service
“Now I know there is help out there about voice banking and communication aids, with people willing to do all they can. This is very comforting. Thank you.” Person with MND
This page looks at how we can help if you are experiencing speech or communication difficulties, or if you want to prepare for the potential need for assistance in the future. This might include the use of communication aids, computer access systems, or using technology to create a synthetic version of your own voice.
A speech and language therapist (SLT) is the best placed professional to help you with communication aids, or an occupational therapist (OT) for environmental controls and computer access.
For more information and resources about this, see our page on speech and communication.
We can offer equipment loan and financial support for communication aids and environmental controls, including adapted switches or devices to use computers.
We can also provide guidance on how to obtain equipment and support from health and social care services, where some items may be free of charge.
If your supporting professional is unable to provide a device for you, they can apply to us for support using the Equipment loan form. This can be used to apply for items, such as text to speech devices (including tablets and apps - for more information on how we loan apps please see this document) or voice banking equipment.
Our MND Support Grant (Care) form can be used to apply for other less common solutions such as smartphones or unique bespoke devices.
If your supporting professional is unsure which form to use please ask them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
For more information about voice banking, and how to record your speech for future use as a synthetic voice, see our page on speech and communication.
We can loan the equipment that you need to do this, such as a headset microphone or laptop. You can apply for this type of equipment loan yourself, using our Equipment loan form.
We have created comparison charts of the voice banking services to help you understand the options. These charts have been created in conjunction with the services and exist due to the rapidly developing nature of this technology, to avoid confusion over what is available.
Services charge a fee for generating a synthetic version of your voice, but we can help to fund this.
- For ModelTalker - follow these instructions and apply online
- For Acapela (my-own-voice) - follow these instructions and apply online
- For SpeakUnique – apply online using the form presented once you have listened to your synthetic voice and have reached the payment page.
If you are in need of advice on voice banking or support then please contact our MND Connect helpline.