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Environmental Mediations of Voice, Speech and Public Health, 5 Nov 2022 17:00-18:30, The MAC Belfast

Supported by and featured as part of ESRC Festival of Social Science in NI 2022. With Dr Zeynep Bulut (Music and Sonic Arts Research Centre, QUB), Dr Orla Duffy (Speech and Language Therapy, Ulster University), Karen Diamond (Resilient Rhythms)

The event revisited a wide range of difficulties in speech and expression through conceptions and practices of environmental voice in music, and discussed the implications and significance of understanding speech difficulties as part of public health issues.

The event featured a 45-minute panel discussion with Dr Orla Duffy and Karen Diamond, and a 15-20-minute participatory activity focusing on voice, environmental sounds, and listening. Dr Duffy discussed her research on vocal health for occupational voice users, and on the use of digital assistants and machine speech for people with Parkinson’s. Karen Diamond presented excerpts from her research on singing for people with chronic lung condition and dementia, and the use of music therapy for early intervention for speech and language delay.

Some of the questions we have considered include:

Can we revisit speech and language difficulties through the lens of environmental voice and listening in music?

Can we consider various difficulties in speech and language a public health issue?

How might practices of sound and music, music therapy, and speech and language therapy contribute to public health, in particular, to discussions on preventive, accessible, and sustainable care models?