Voice is a strong part of anyone's identity that does not need to be lost after losing the ability to speak. We will illustrate the benefits for users who are about to lose their voice in retaining their voice as full synthetic speech and then having the voice available for integration on the user's own AAC devices.
We researched how to reduce the amount of recordings needed to create a high quality synthetic speech voice to a level that can be handled by laymen. We also found two ways of delivering the voice, one putting emphasis on keeping the original voice timbre intact, one putting emphasis on making a smooth and intelligible voice but still easily recognisable.
A process for recording, packaging and delivery a personal and unique synthetic speech voice to make it as easy as possible for users to keep a synthetic version of their voice on their own favorite assistive device.
The result is a product called 'my-own-voice' which is now available. We intend to show samples of voices already created by users with ALS and similar conditions, and how this product impacted their life after losing the ability to speak.