Authentic Voice and Communication

Contact Information

(608) 287-2500

 

Voice Clinic
UW Health 1 S. Park Clinic
1 S. Park St.
Madison, WI 53715

Everyone deserves the means to communicate safely and authentically. Voice is important to a person’s expression of self and gender. The UW Health Voice Clinic offers resources to help gender-expansive people find a more authentic voice. The clinic is internationally recognized as a leader in clinical care and research for voice and voice disorders. Gender-related voice treatment is offered as part of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program at UW Health.

 

Evaluation

 

The process begins with an assessment by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and otolaryngologist, or ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT). These specialists evaluate current voice patterns and overall vocal health.

 

Evaluation may include:

  • Acoustic measurements of current voice function
  • Impact of voice on a patient’s quality of life
  • Goal setting
  • Trial therapy to find the best and easiest ways for someone to modify their voice
  • Addressing questions about voice treatment options, including surgery

Videostroboscopy / laryngoscopy is a minimally invasive clinic procedure to assess the details of vocal function. It is needed when a patient has a hoarse voice or there is any concern about a patient’s ability to safely or effectively modify their voice. The SLP and ENT will determine if this procedure is needed.

 

Therapy Process

 

Voice change is a process of discovery that can take several months of therapy, with independent exploration often lasting well beyond the initial treatment period. An individual plan will be tailored to meet each patient’s specific goals.

 

Authentic Voice and Communication

 

Treatment goals may include changes in:

  • Speaking pitch
  • Resonance—the “color” of one’s voice
  • Prosody—the “melody” of one’s sentences
  • Articulation—how words are pronounced
  • Voice quality—loudness, breathiness, etc.
  • Non-verbal communication—gestures, posture, etc.

Trans Men and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

 

Hormone replacement therapy (testosterone) often provides satisfactory voice change for trans men, but this is not always the case. Voice masculinization therapy is available for those who are unsatisfied with their voice change with hormones alone, or for those who are not taking testosterone. Gender non-conforming individuals may find voice therapy helpful to achieve a communication style anywhere along the gender spectrum.

 

Some insurance companies may offer coverage for gender-related voice services, depending on the policy. Please check with your insurance provider for coverage information. A private pay option is also available.