Father with motor neurone disease to keep Yorkshire accent as he loses speech

Jason Liversidge smiles as he hears his voice for the first time, as the 41-year-old father who has motor neurone disease will be able to keep his Yorkshire accent despite the fact he is losing the ability to speak. PIC: PA
Jason Liversidge smiles as he hears his voice for the first time, as the 41-year-old father who has motor neurone disease will be able to keep his Yorkshire accent despite the fact he is losing the ability to speak. PIC: PA
0
Have your say

A 41-year-old father with motor neurone disease will be able to keep his Yorkshire accent despite the fact he is losing the ability to speak.

Experts have, for the first time, been able to use technology to create an accented voice, basing it on a similar system to that used by Professor Stephen Hawking.

Jason Liversidge, from Scarborough in North Yorkshire, was diagnosed with in 2014 and is slowly losing the ability to speak as his condition progresses.

But instead of giving him a computer-generated voice, specialists have created a voice with a Yorkshire accent for Mr Liversidge.

They have used recordings of his original voice from a speech he gave at his sister’s wedding, plus those of Yorkshire men who have donated their voices, including Jason’s best friend, Phil White.

Donor voices were needed because Mr Liversidge’s speech is already slurred.

Speaking to BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Mr Liversidge said he was hoping to keep his voice to communicate with his children, Poppy and Lilly, and wife, Liz.

He said: “I’d quite like to keep a form of identity.

“I just don’t want to be a programmed voice on a computer. But also for the kids and Liz, [I want them] to hear my voice rather [than] a computer one.”

After hearing his new voice, he said: “That’s pretty good. It’s instantly recognisable. It sounds really good. I know it’s me.”

The new voice was developed at a centre in Edinburgh funded by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Dr Phillipa Rewaj, a speech and language therapist at the Anne Rowling Clinic, said: “Your voice is identifiable to other people as your face is. It’s very unique to you. So to be able to preserve that is really important for people.”

BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire is on Monday at 7.30pm.

24 May 2018......   Windrush child Lorenzo Hoyte who came to Beeston in Leeds in the 1960s  was unable to attend his mother or his brothers funerals because he is not classed as a British citizen and canot get a passport to travel abroad. he was also unable to travel to the Moscow Olympics in 1980 or the Los Angeles games in 1984 to see his sister Josyln Hoyte-Smith compete in the women's 4x400m relay.'Mt Hoyte, 61, now of Wrenthoprpe, Wakefield, works as a welder At Hopkins Catering Equipment in Pudsey. 'Lorenzo with his brothers Barbados passport he came into the country with as a child. Picture Tony Johnson.

Leeds Windrush victim could not travel to see star athlete sister’s Olympic glory