Cape radio reporters donate voices to help children with speech impediments
Cape Town – The Speech Therapy Department at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) in Cape Town has partnered with radio reporters at RX Radio to help children with speech related difficulties be better understood.
Chantel du Toit, a speech therapist at the hospital, has a special interest in helping children communicate more effectively by means of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
AAC is not a new concept, but Du Toit took it a step further, approaching the RX Radio team so the young AAC users can choose a voice match according to their age, ethnicity, gender and language (English, isiXhosa, Afrikaans and a bit of isiZulu).
The hospital said this personalised the process and greatly assisted in the uptake and acceptance of AAC in general.
Fourteen young RX Radio reporters participated in the voice donation project. Their voices, a collection of everyday words and simple phrases, will be stored on a device that will assist the children.
“This is a very significant project for our reporters who have conditions that somehow limit and hinder them from taking part in a range of activities. This was empowering for them, being in a position to assist someone who has a condition that in a way limits them,” said RX Radio station manager, Noluyolo Yolie Ngomani.
“As they also know how it feels like to be limited by their respective conditions. Even though the project was not conceptualised at RX Radio, it really spoke to what the station stands for, and we feel very fortunate that Chantel approached us and made us part of this exciting project,” said Ngomani.
Dr Anita Parbhoo, acting chief executive of the RCWMCH, said: “We’re always looking at ways to improve the lives of our patients. It’s what we do. It’s part of us all here at Red Cross.
“Chantel du Toit and the Speech Therapy team, together with RX Radio, did an amazing job, and we are certain that this will have a positive impact on the children of the Western Cape and South Africa.”