Making a case for expressive speech synthesis

To Whom It May Concern;

As an AAC clinician and researcher, I am writing this letter of support for ensuring that AAC systems  continue to move towards integrating speech synthesis technology that allows for expressive speech.

Specifically, there are two key technological advances that need to be integrated into current and future AAC systems:

1 – Custom / personalised voices – this is the capability of having a voice that is consistent with one’s expression of identity.   It is important to have a voice that matches one’s gender expression, regional and cultural identity, age, and body mass.  Having a unique voice also helps listeners attribute spoken contributions to the AAC speaker. 

Select Committe

Last year I submitted a written submission to the Education Select Committee.  Too many of my clients are falling through the cracks and the Education Update is a timely opportunity for the policymakers to get things right.  We have a long way to go, but we also have some great things to build on. Today I had the chance to do an oral submission. I am much more accustomed helping others speak, so I was rather nervous doing the speaking myself.

Hopefully they heard my 3 main points: