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Record ID: 132
Program Affiliation: University Honors Program
Student Major: Speech language hearing sciences
Project Advisor: Amanda Simmons
Abstract: A primary change that occurs with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the loss of an individual's ability to speak. Technology provides a variety of ways to capture or 'save' the voice of a patient with ALS (pALS). There are two methods pALS use to preserve their voice, voice banking and message banking. Voice banking is when the individual records numerous predetermined messages which are used to create a synthetic voice that sounds like their natural voice. The synthetic voice is flexible and can be used to produce any message the pALS want to communicate. While voice banking is beneficial, it cannot convey the emotion behind a pALS' voice and may still sound robotic. Because of this, there are certain messages that we encourage pALS to record in their own natural voice. This process is called message banking and includes the individual recording phrases which can, if needed, be used with an alternative communication device later. However, knowing what to record can be overwhelming for pALS. To overcome this barrier, we have created a message banking journal for pALS. In this journal the patient will have one or more prompts to record per day over the course of thirty days. The process and purpose of message banking can be a tall order for pALS, cognitively and emotionally. Our hope is that our journal will make this process easier for everyone involved and result in an improved quality of life for pALS.