The human voice is a remarkable instrument. A speaker can evoke a wide range of emotions and mental images by slight changes of vocal timbre, loudness or subtle nuances in inflection. Voice production is a multi-system activity. Your breathing, voice production, brain, thinking and digestive systems all participate. Voice production is influenced by the overall health of the body, the mind, and the emotions, it is a sensitive barometer of a person’s physical and emotional health.
The human voice varies in pitch, loudness, and quality. A distortion of any of these three features either separately or in combination can produce a voice disorder.
Most individuals have voices which could be improved, that is, made more pleasant and efficient. However, majority of individuals with voice disorders who consult a Speech Therapist may have the disorder not only as a result of a physical pathology, but also because of emotional and / or vocational problems.
Everyone speaks with an accent. Accents reflect the unique characteristics and background of a person and should be valued. You may speak English with an accent because English is not your first language. An accent is the unique way that speech is pronounced by a group of people speaking the same language. However, sometimes an accent may be so unique that is causes the speaker to have problems when communicating. Thus a strong accent may have negative effect on job performance, educational advancement, and everyday life activities. For these reasons, accent modification may be required.
Assessment for accent modification involves listening to the speech in conversation in order to determine what can be done to modify the accent and improve overall communication. A programme based on the individual’s needs is then developed which may include sound pronunciation (consonants and vowels) stress, rhythm, and intonation of speech.