the british voice association


World Voice Day 2011

World Voie Day (branding)


The British Voice Association's contribution to World Voice Day 2011


Voice Disorders and the Workplace - leaflet

In 2011 the Association focussed on providing the general public with information about occupational voice disorders. We published a leaflet entitled Paralysed Vocal Folds and Voice: What can be done to help?, encouraging people to think about keeping their voice healthy in the work place and identifying some of the risk factors associated with professions recording a higher incidence of vocal problems among their employees – the leaflet offers some suggestions about what they and their employers can do to minimize these risks.

The leaflet is available to download from our 'Free Resources' section.


International World Voice Day Survey

During 2011 we encouraged participaton in an international investigation of the general public's awareness of voice and how important voice is in their everyday lives instigated by our Patron, Dr Ron Baken. Volunteers approached members of the public in places such as the High Street, stations or in the supermarket, and asked them five simple questions. Results of the data gathered in the UK and also in Malta are available in spreadsheet format: View results



World Voice Day 2011 News – UK and around the world


UK, Bedfordshire
The Speech and Language Therapy Department held a World Voice Day display in the main reception of the Luton and Dunstable Hospital on Friday 15th April. During the display they managed to collect 32 completed surveys to contribute to the international World Voice Day initiative. Speech and Language Therapist Sarah Ginsberg was also interviewed speaking about voice for BBC 3 Counties Radio. The interview was aired on the early morning breakfast show on 16th April, World Voice Day.


UK, Berkshire
On Friday 15th April the Speech and Language Therapist Department set up an information display and public awareness session at Wexham Park Hospital to celebrate World Voice Day. The team collected 24 completed surveys from hospital staff and the visiting public to contribute to the International World Voice Day initiative. The results indicated that 42% of people knew the human body has two vocal cords and 46% of people have experienced hoarseness in the last 12 months. 96% of people rated their voice as "extremely important".


UK, Cardiff
The Speech and Language Therapy Department at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff distributed the British Voice Associations new Occupational Voice leaflets back stage at the Wales Millennium Theatre to provide information to the actors and staff of the theatre. They also arranged to distribute e-copies of the leaflet to the 400 student teachers studying at the University. As a result of this initiative, an opportunity has arisen to follow up the leaflets with some talks on preventative voice care during September 2011. They plan to distribute the BVA leaflets at local leisure centres, swimming pools and gymnasiums and to send an e-copy to the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama. There will be a stand on the concourse of the University Hospital of Wales on Friday 15th April, to give information to the general public and the Speech and Language Therapy team plan to use this opportunity to carry out the World Voice Day survey. Finally, they  intend to write an article for a local paper with the help of the University Hospital of Wales press office.


UK, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are planning to promote World Voice Day in conjunction with various training opportunities available to staff. These opportunities include an e-learning module on Personal Assertiveness, and two interactive Podcasts which encourage individuals to practice assertive techniques. Also available to staff is an electronic Factsheet which provides tips on assertive communication.


UK, Chepstow
The Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board Speech and Language Therapy Service celebrated World Voice Day at Chepstow Community Hospital on Friday, 15th April. Therapists created a stand with displays of promotional material. They provided advice on voice care to the general public and managed to encourage 114 people to complete the international World Voice Day survey.


UK, Edinburgh, Scotland

Moira Little, Lead clinician in Voice, at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh organised a stall in the hospital mall to celebrate World Voice Day and also the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy's Giving Voice initiative. The students at Queen Margaret's University did the same at the University. Both groups carried out the international World Voice Day survey at these events and managed to send in 51 tally forms to the UK co-ordinator. It appears from the preliminary results that very few people knew how many vocal cords they had but the vast majority rated their voices as extremely important.


UK, Elgin, Scotland
The SLT Dept based in Elgin in Scotland and covering Moray plans to target libraries to distribute posters/leaflets this year to spread the word about World Voice Day.


UK, Looe, Cornwall
Barry Farley, Singing Teacher, has been invited to run a vocal workshop with the ladies choir, Keltique, on April 16th in Looe, Cornwall. He has decided to use the opportunity to celebrate World Voice Day.  BVA leaflets will be distributed on the day and Barry will give a brief talk about the idea of celebrating our wonderful voices and maintaining a healthy voice in the work place. He will then work on Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo (by Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz) with the choir. Throughout the day he planned to input plenty of vocal teaching and relate it to the piece the choir are singing. He also planned explain how the voice works and talk about how much we use it and why it is so important to take care of it. He also plans to provide information about where to seek advice if any individuals are worried about their voices and will be featuring the work of British Voice Association. The Choir has opened the workshop to anyone who might be interested in attending.


UK, Newcastle upon Tyne
Paul Carding, Professor of Speech and Voice Pathology at the Freeman Hospital, has taken up the challenge of the International World Voice Day survey that was recently sent out to BVA members. Paul managed to recruit 45 students to carry out the survey and 150 completed tally sheets are now on their way to the organizers for processing. Paul has commented that "the results were quite fascinating- a remarkable number of people from the general public seem to know so little about the human voice yet almost everyone thought the voice was very important in the modern world!" Congratulations are due to Paul and his voluteers whose work will be much appreciated by the international organising team.


Around the world

Vaneysa Hansen, Speech Language Pathologist at The Victoria General Hospital, Canada is hoping to put on a voice screening clinic for hospital workers in the week preceding World Voice Day. We have sent Vaneysa a copy of the BVA leaflet on Occupational Voice Disorders so that she can use it as the basis for a Canadian version which she can distribute to hospital workers at the screening clinic. In addition, Vaneysa has also created a 'Rate Your Voice' quiz similar to the Voice-Related Quality of Life Quiz, presented by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.


Dublin, Eire

Stand at Health Fair, Dublin City University

Voice specialist Speech Therapist Caitriona Munier set up a table with information about voice and displayed the BVA pamphlets at a Health Fair at Dublin City University on April 14th. The Health Fair was organised by the Health and Safety Department of the hospital.



Service Children's Education

The Germany based Speech and Language Therapy Service supporting British Forces and their families were this year promoting World Voice Day across bases in Germany. This years' theme of Voice Disorders and the Workplace was particular relevant, as members of the armed forces can often find themselves in an environment where they are exposed to risk factors such as excessive noise, air pollutants, chemicals, dust etc.

An information board set up in the Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility in Paderborn Garrison focussed on many of the risk factors of voice disorders:

  • Shouting at work or at sporting events
  • Dehydration – especially when deployed or on exercise in hot climates
  • Dusty conditions when deployed
  • Increase use of alcohol and smoking during recreation
BVA Occupational Voice Disorders leaflet displayed

As 20th Armoured Brigade based in Paderborn are due to be deployed in the Autumn, information leaflets and advice from a Speech and Language Therapist have been made available in the department.

Voice workshops have also been carried out in Service Children's Education settings to promote good voice use for children and teaching staff.



The Speech and Language Therapy Department at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi took on the international voice survey to celebrate World Voice Day 2011. This meant translating the questions into Kiswahili which proved no mean feat as there are no words for "vocal cords" in Kiswahili. As a result they had to make up words and/or describe these. For example, "kamba ya sauti" which means literally "vocal string" or "mkunjo ya sauti" meaning vocal fold. Several people surveyed felt there should have been a "don't know" response for the number of vocal cords as generally no one knew anything about them. The team managed to collect 49 completed surveys to add in to the BVA contribution to the international voice initiative.



Dia Mundial da Voz (poster)

Ana Margarida Nunes, Assistant Professor in Linguistics, is planning an event to celebrate World Voice Day for the first time at the University of Macau. She has some good contacts with people from the media and has also invited a Speech and Language Therapist from Hong Kong to come and give a workshop on voice production and vocal care. It is especially nice to know that she met this colleague at the BVA event Choice for Voice event last July. View the event programme


Norma Camilleri, Speech and Language Therapist based in Malta has let us know that she is planning to discuss with the Speech-Language Department and the Association of Speech-Language Pathologists in Malta to see whether it would be possible for them to carry out the international survey. There is a World Voice Day campaign event planned at the main hospital and Norma is hoping that, subject to permission, the survey could be included at this event.


The Communication Disorders Care Centre team from ENT & MFS Clinic in Belgrade have joined in the celebration of World Voice Day two years ago. Traditionally, the central feature is an International Symposium. This year, the main topic is 'The Professional Voice'. The Symposium will take place on 15th April in the main hall of the Belgrade medical Faculty. Eight presenters will give presentations on all aspects of professional voice care to about 200 participants (mainly ENT specialists and voice therapists) from all over Serbia and the neighbouring countries.


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