Cutting-edge technology helps Mum with Motor Neurone Disease

Annie Allen, a mum with motor neurone disease (MND), is one of the first in the UK to explore and use voice banking, which will enable her to continue to speak with her loved ones once she starts to experience vocal difficulties.

For Annie, who has progressive bulbar palsy, which affects the muscles of the mouth, throat and tongue, the voice banking technology is life-changing.

Voice banking is a process that allows a person to record set words and phrases using their own voice, which will be combined with technology to create a synthetic voice. The person with MND can then later on use this voice to communicate with others through technology.

Annie said: “Losing the ability to speak will affect everybody with MND at some point. I want others to know about voice banking because if I’d have left it just that bit longer, I feel it would have been too late.

“Now I know that when my voice does go and I have to rely on a computerised voice, it will still be me and my personality and that is a huge comfort.”

Typically, users of voice banking record between 600 and 3,500 phrases and sentences, and it will take them between six and eight hours over a longer period of time to complete the process.

MND Association East Dorset and New Forest branch is the first to offer this service to people in the UK, and is currently training more assistants in the new technology.

Their project has been funded for 18 months, after which the service offering will be evaluated.

  • At Almond Care our staff have the specialist training required to support those living with motor neurone disease. For further information about our services, please contact us today.