We all use our voices in many different ways every day. We use our voice to talk to each other about everyday things and to connect with our friends and families in a range of ways. At the moment, much of this connection might be via video or phone calls but it is still just as important (if not more so) than ever.
As a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), I love that I can use my voice to help children and young people find theirs. Everyone’s voice is different but we all have one thing in common – we use our voice to express our thoughts and feelings. Whether this is through speech or Alternative and Augmentative Communication methods (AAC) such as sign language, picture exchange (e.g. PECS) or Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA) (like the system used by Lost Voice Guy). There are so many different ways to support individuals with communication difficulties to express themselves and ensure their voice is heard.
Some SLTs also work with individuals who have specific difficulties with their voice. Voice disorders are a range of conditions which affect the voice box (larynx). Voice disorders include difficulties such as hoarseness or loss of voice. There is further information about how SLTs support children and adults with Voice Disorders on the RCSLT website. The British Voice Association have also produced a handy leaflet to help us all look after our voices. This is especially important for people who use their voices in a professional capacity such as teaching or singing. Find the leaflet on their free resources page.
April’s RCSLT 75th anniversary theme is ‘World of Work’ and SLTs work in a variety settings to support people of all ages and abilities to express their voices through a range of communication methods. I am proud to be part of such an exciting and diverse profession. In these challenging times, SLTs are working in new and different ways. Many NHS SLTs are being re-deployed to support frontline staff in hospitals and the community. In other areas, assessments and therapy sessions are being carried out via video calls in order to ensure that SLTs are still able to meet client needs. Everyone is playing their part in supporting the current situation.
The SLT (and general) ‘World of Work’ looks very different at the moment to what it did at the beginning of the year. The SLT profession is hardworking and innovative and we continue to use these skills to adapt during these difficult times.