Sequal is a national charity that fundraises to provide augmentative speech aids for people who have no natural vocal ability. Often they are unable to mix socially, interact fully with family and friends or in the case of younger individuals, properly facilitate their education or engage with employment prospects.

By Liz Downes

We are an independent, unaffiliated charity, celebrating 50 years’ of innovation in communication aids – much of it having paved the way for technology to develop into today’s vast market.

Communication is such an important part of our lives. A lack of vocal ability does not mean a lack of intelligence, but it can mean a lack of opportunity – for the individual to express themselves, to interact socially, to impart knowledge, or to just let their personality shine through.

The world would be a lesser place without the brilliance of our late patron, Professor Stephen Hawking, as well known for his artificial voice perhaps, as for his theories. Lately, our newest patron, Lee Ridley, known by his stage name, ‘Lost Voice Guy’, has been able to present his gift for creating laughter, solely through the communication device he uses during his comedy routines.

You don’t need to have a particular talent to be recognised as the special individual that you are, but you do need a voice to be heard and listened to by Society in general. Sequal has been providing artificial speech aids for 50 years, helping thousands of people to advance in life, and providing them with independence and dignity.

All our devices are issued on a lifelong loan basis which allows us to retain responsibility for all technical maintenance and repairs, meaning that support is always ongoing for our members. With the all-round service we provide, it’s no surprise that we receive applications on a daily basis, with our small team of dedicated staff being totally committed to helping.

While iPads and laptops with communication software are relatively cheap, at the top end of the market, more sophisticated eye operated systems can vary in price from £9,000 to £11,000. We can be aiming to fund possibly 10 or more of these systems at any given time, leaving us with tough funding targets to meet. We rely on, and are always immensely grateful for, any donations, large or small, since we receive no statutory funding to be able to fulfil our commitment to help people live more independent and fulfilling lives, easing their frustration and feelings of isolation.

If you, or anyone you know needs our help, please contact our office or visit our website for further information on how to apply – and where you can also find a handy and direct donate button!

Tel: 01691 624 222