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ONE VOICE AT A TIME

MASKS & VOCAL HEALTH

Welcome to the Masks and Vocal Health: One Voice at a Time educational module series. Our modules explain how face masks impact voice and provide simple strategies to overcome mask-based communication challenges. Additional resources can be found below, including a module hand-out and a short quiz to test your knowledge. We hope these modules provide you with the knowledge you need to effectively communicate and maintain vocal health.

 

Protecting yourself and your community, one voice at a time.

INTRODUCTION

Introduction on how to help integrate safe and effective vocal strategies into daily mask-wearing life in order to optimize your voice while still protecting yourself and your community.

MODULE 1 IMPACT OF MASKS ON COMMUNICATION

Learn how COVID-19 is transmitted between people and how wearing facial masks and coverings reduces the risk of COVID transmission during speech.

MODULE 2 COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES & VOICE PROTECTION FOR MASK USERS

Reviews the impact masks have on voice and communication, and help identify if having trouble. Cover methods to improve communication and vocal health for those who wear masks throughout the day.

MODULE 3 IMPLEMENTING VOCAL WELLNESS STRATEGIES IN THE WORKPLACE

Tips & tricks on how to implement what we learn in module 2. Cover hydration, vocal naps, posture, clear speech, vocal warm-up, and microphone amplification.

 

MATERIALS & RESOURCES

DEFINITIONS

Phonation: physical process by which the vocal cords rapidly open and close to produce sound for speech; can be referred to as “voicing.”

 

Articulation: physical movement of the tongue, lips, palate, and jaw to produce sounds.

 

Vocal effort: self-perceived exertion of voicing; a perceived increase in vocal pushing and strain.

 

Vocal fatigue: a weak or insufficient voice, often from vocal overuse that improves following rest. Signs and symptoms of vocal fatigue include increased i) vocal effort, ii) throat, neck, and/or shoulder tension or pain, and iii) hoarse voice or loss of voice altogether. 

 

Vocal Warm-up: strategy of easy humming at typical pitch and loudness to begin to stretch your voice before vocal use.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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Think you may have a voice problem?

Click here for a local referral.

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“Our educational modules were developed with input from voice/communication specialists and mask-wearing community members. We aim to improve vocal health and communication, and reduce the need to remove face masks and coverings to be understood.”

DR. VICTORIA MCKENNA
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR OF THE VSM LAB

CONTRIBUTORS

Victoria McKenna, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Renee Gustin, M.S., CCC-SLP

Rebecca Howell, M.D.

Tulsi Patel, B.S.

Mariah Emery, B.S.

Courtney Kendall, B.S.

Nick Kelliher, M.M.

Kelly Carraro

Lauren Humpert

 

Special thank you to:

Maggie Lyon, B.A., Maggie Lyon Design;

Mark Roberts & Adam Lawrence,
aHumanPerson Productions;

Katelyn Reid, M.A., CCC-SLP, Voiceover Artist

Additional thanks to: Liran Oren.Ph.D. (Research Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology), Charles Farbos De Luzan, Ph.D. (Senior Research Associate, Department of Otolaryngology) and Jacob Michaud-Dorko (Graduate student, Biomedical Engineering) for their assistance with Schlieren video recordings.

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