Last year, I learned about a project called VocaliD (pronounced “Vocality”), which is using technology to allow donors to give the gift of individual, unique voices to people who are unable to speak. The project is now up and running, accepting donations, and has begun creating custom voices for people.
I just got a certificate of appreciation for completing my first hour of donations (500 sentences). It’s incredibly simple to do, as long as you have a computer with a microphone and a decent room without excessive noise. Plus, you get to say goofy sentences and recite the occasional line from Kipling or The Velveteen Rabbit.
This holiday season, if you have the time to start this project, I invite you to give the gift of your voices to those who need them. (And if you don’t have the time this month, or only have a little, sign up as a donor, and start whenever you can. You can record any time, and 10 sentences is considered a valid recording session. And while the website says you have to use Google Chrome, I did it from Firefox without any trouble, so you can try it with your current browser and see if it works.)