Question and Answer session with JimHashman (diagnosed with sporadic ALS, May 2013)
Q: When did you first start using a voicebanking service and what made you decide to do so? A: When the concept of voice banking was first developed (it has been around for several years) there were no “services.” The idea was to record yourself saying every day things as well as personal messages. It was originally limited by the capacity of simple recording software such as Windows Voice Recorder. Consequently, it was introduced to me this way and I didn’t know any services existed, so I recorded my voice using Audacity.
The speech therapist at the Virginia Mason ALS clinic introduced voice banking to me when we first met in February of 2014. She gave me a handout about it, and encouraged me to get started. However, I had a real emotional hurdle to overcome, as do most pALS, and it took me a while to get started. It was my wife who finally got me going when she told me that even if it was a simple, everyday phrase like, “I’m thirsty” she would rather hear my voice than a computer generated voice. I did most of my recording in the fall of 2014.
Q: How did the voicebanking process make you feel? A: At first I was very tentative. But as I got going, it started to be fun.
Q: What types of messages have you recorded, and what purposes do they serve? (e.g. daily communication,messages for loved ones, etc.) A: Primarily daily communication. I did record a few personal messages for loved ones.
Q: Now that you have a voicebank, how does that make you feel? A: Now that I need it, I am SO GLAD I have it. Even I enjoy hearing my own voice and others think it is great. Now I wish I had recorded more and am constantly encouraging other pALS to voice bank.