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Now I sound hip and trendy

Former student Jason Felce smiling with his AAC device

Student Jason Felce now has the voice he believes best represents him, thanks to National Star’s Find My Voice project.

The 22-year-old uses a high tech electronic device, called an AAC device, to communicate. There are very few age-appropriate regional voices available, so in response to students like Jason, National Star launched its Find My Voice project.

A customised voice costs around £500, which many families cannot afford. National Star established a Technology Fund, which helps students find suitable voice donors and record the new voice.

Jason chose his oldest brother Michael as his voice donor and during lockdown Michael recorded more than 3,000 phrases to create Jason’s new voice.

‘It was important to me to have my own voice because I hated sounding like a posh old man and I wanted to sound like the rest of my family,’ said Jason. ‘I now sound like a hip and trendy young guy.’

Jason, who left National Star in July, also won the Alex Hassett Award for Assistive Communication.

‘Since starting at National Star, Jason has grown not only in ability and in confidence,’ said National Star Principal Simon Welch. ‘He has represented National Star and his fellow AAC users on multiple occasions, including in the national media.’

The Find My Voice project was shortlisted for a prestigious national award in a competition organised by specialist further education organisation Natspec.

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