The ability to speak and be understood is critical to children’s wellbeing. Speech problems caused by velopharyngeal insufficiency(VPI) are the commonest complication of a cleft lip and/or palate, which affects 1 in 700 babies, globally. VPI leads to children leaking air into their nose, instead of directing this airstream into their mouth, to generate clear, understandable speech. Diagnosis of VPI is time consuming and expensive, involving expert speech and language therapists listening closely to speech, using instruments which are not globally available or tests that may be invasive or uncomfortable for children. This project connects experts in cleft palate repair and treatment at Edinburgh University and Speech at Home, Dublin, with voice acoustics experts from the AudioLab at York to develop a new, non-invasive and objective method for diagnosing VPI by measuring the acoustics of the vocal tract directly, by adapting a tool previously developed for singing research.
|Effective start/end date||1/02/20 → 30/08/20|