Friends (and strangers)!
During the process of securing an eye gaze device to enable our own kiddo to talk out loud with the assistance of a very expensive gadget, we realized it is possible to program the device with a voice made uniquely for each kid (rather than the pre-programmed kid voice that comes with the device). This was, of course, something that we opted for despite the $1500 price tag because we wanted E's voice to be hers and not one that everyone else uses as well--doesn't everyone want that? We are so lucky that our situation makes this do-able right now for us.
We heard, though, that our friend and mentor 6-year-old Ellie does not have this option. Money has to be used for therapies and essentials--it isn't available for "optional" items like a bespoke voice. We know, though, that a voice expresses personality, history, and emotion....and we think a very sterile and very "cute" voice does not fully express the vastness, the cheekiness, and the full background of the soul who came here with her mom from Ghana and has been “Bye, Felicia”ing all the negativity and low expectations ever since. We want to pass on the support and love we’ve felt so that Ellie can also be able to show off her true self when she talks with the help of VocalID
This project isn't huge but it means so much--it's $1800 for a kid to get to get to be herself. Help us get Ellie an awesome Christmas present this year.
- Steven LaKind
- Anna Santomieri Barnes
- Adrienne Barber