Speak:Unique, The Voicebank Research Project

Creating personalised digital voices for communication aids, simply and efficiently.



  • All neurodegenerative conditions & carers
  • Motor neurone disease

About the project

Sadly, motor neurone disease and other neurological conditions can sometimes leave people unable to speak. This leads to isolation, difficulty communicating, and loss of control, dignity and personal identity.

Some people in this situation choose to use a communication aid or app that can convert text, entered on a keyboard or by eye movements, into a computerised voice. These devices are valuable, but the pre-installed generic or “off the shelf” voices provide a very limited solution.

Speak:Unique, our Voicebank Research Project, aims to help people sound like themselves again, by providing ‘their own’ voice for use in a communication aid.

Speak:Unique is multidisciplinary project between the Anne Rowling Clinic / Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research and the Centre for Speech Technology Research at the University of Edinburgh.

To find out more and sign-up to record your voice as a healthy donor, please visit the Speak:Unique website at www.speakunique.org.

Related links

Speak:Unique case study page on the Euan MacDonald Centre website


Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, Scottish Government, Medical Research Council, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research


Recruiting now


Speak:Unique Voicebank Research Team
0131 465-9500

Eligibility criteria

We are now gathering volunteer healthy donor voices with a range of regional accents. We need both male and female adult voices of all ages.

The project is still in the research phase and we regret we are not yet routinely recording patient voices.

To be eligible to record your voice as a healthy donor you must be:

  • 16 or over
  • a native speaker of English
  • and not have any reading or speech difficulties

We only need particular regional accents. For a map of the accents we currently need, please visit Become a voice donor on the Speak:Unique website.