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Project Revoice

Project Revoice

About this initiative

Every day there are 384 new cases of ALS (also known as Motor Neurone Disease) in the world. The initial symptoms of ALS can vary significantly, from clumsiness to shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing. However, as a degenerative disease, once an individual is diagnosed, the symptoms begin to get gradually worse. Ultimately, individuals with ALS become unable to control the majority of their muscles – including those that control speech production. In Australia, BWM Dentsu, partnered with Lyrebird, to create Project ReVoice; an innovative plan to give these individuals their voices back.

The third SDG goal seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. Therefore, supporting individuals with ALS and reducing the impact of the symptoms on their life is a key part of that goal.

 

In 2014, just over a year after being diagnosed with ALS, Pat Quinn co-founded the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge. The challenge raised over $100 million, prompted millions of people to learn about the realities of living with ALS and gave individuals with ALS a voice. However, three years later, Pat’s own symptoms deteriorated and he, like so many others, lost his own voice.

Using only a few hours of speech recordings and Lyrebird’s voice technology, Project ReVoice was able to recreate Pat’s unique voice pattern. By combining that voice pattern with an Augmented/Alternative Communication (AAC) device, Pat was able to use his eye muscles to produce speech that sounded like him.

 

Following this success, Project ReVoice are opening a voice bank – a platform through which individuals are able to record their voices for future use. Through this, they aim to be able to give every individual who is diagnosed with ALS the chance to keep their voice forever.

 

Despite the voice bank not being functional as of yet, in excess of 100 patients a week join the program and 41 million people have joined the conversation, showing just how influential this project can be.

 

Find out more on the Project Revoice website.