The clinic started in 2017 after Pam Mathy, PhD, CCC-SLP, identified a need for providing gender-affirming voice care to the community. Today, Myers and his team see over 20 clients on a regular basis each week, providing more than 1,000 sessions each year.
“My background is in vocal health, so I’ve always been interested in voice on a broader scale,” Myers said. “With the transgender voice group, there’s a large community we need to serve, and we’re fortunate to be able to provide services to these folks.”
For Doepner and other members of the transgender community, it’s important that their voice matches their identity. That’s where Myers and his graduate students use their expertise to help make lasting changes.
To serve their clients, clinic providers begin with a voice evaluation, recording the voice and conducting an initial interview. Then they create a custom plan that helps transform the voice, with a focus on pitch, intonation, and resonance. The plan can also include recommendations for hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language in general.
“We’re not prescriptive because everyone has their own recipe of what works for them,” Myers said. “We just work together to bring out the voice they identify with the most.”
Once individual sessions are complete, clients can choose to continue weekly group sessions, led by CSD graduate students. It’s an important way to hone their new voice, especially in conversational practice and role play.