Transgender voice therapy

Many people in our community are able to change how they speak with voice practice on their own or with a teacher or vocal coach.

Some choose to go to a specialist. In some cases, this is covered by health insurance.

In cases where practice and therapy are not effective, some choose voice surgery.

Specialists

Most specialists should be able to help you change your speaking voice. Some of them have made our voices a main focus. Here are American specialists by state and historically significant voice therapists who have served our community.

These are the common kinds of people you might see.

Speech-language specialists study voice, communication, and swallowing issues. This specialist may also be called a speech-language pathologist or SLP. This is the specialist most likely to have experience helping clients from our community.

Audiology specialists study hearing and balance issues. People with hearing issues may need to address those in order to improve vocal results.

An ENT is an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor who manages diseases in those areas, including the larynx (voice box). An ENT is also called an otolaryngologist or an otorhinolaryngologist.

Fluency specialists focus on fluency disorders, or problems in speech flow. In the past this has been called “stuttering.” Many adults with this issue may see it get better by taking more thiamin (vitamin B1).

Orofacial myology specialists train clients on how to hold the tongue, lips and cheeks to improve function, including speaking. They are sometimes known by the nickname myo.

Specialist abbreviations

When choosing a specialist, you might see these letters after their names. Here is what they mean:

  • ABA: Certified by the American Board of Audiology
  • AuD: Doctor of Audiology degree
  • BCS-F: Board Certified Specialist in Fluency
  • BCS-S: Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing
  • CCC-A: Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology
  • CCC-SLP: Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology
  • CF-SLP: Clinical Fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology
  • CFY-SLP: Clinical Fellowship Year in Speech-Language Pathology
  • EdD: Doctor of Education degree
  • F-AAA: Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology
  • MA: Master of Arts degree
  • MM: Master of Music degree
  • MS: Master of Science degree
  • PhD: Doctor of Philosophy degree
  • QOM: Qualified Orofacial Myologist
  • QOM-D: Qualified Orofacial Myologist with dental training
  • ST: Speech Therapist
  • SLP: Speech-Language Pathologist
  • SLPD: Doctorate (PhD) in Speech-Language Pathology
  • SLT: Speech-Language Therapist

Books

Richard K. Adler, Sandy Hirsch, and Jack Pickering (2018). Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/Gender Diverse Client: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide. ISBN: 978-1944883300

Liz Jackson Hearns and Brian Kremer (2018). The Singing Teacher’s Guide to Transgender Voices. ISBN: 978-1635500936

Matthew Mills and Gillie Stoneham (2017). The Voice Book for Trans and Non-Binary People ISBN: 978-1785921285

Abbie Olszewski, Selah Sullivan, and Adriano Cabral (2018). Here’s How to Teach Voice and Communication Skills to Transgender Women. ISBN: 978-1635500653

Lynette Nisbet (2012). Girl Talk: The Transgender Guide for Voice and Feminization. ISBN: 978-1611700770

Resources

American Speech-Language Hearing Association (asha.org)

  • 204,000 members including speech-language pathologists.

Speech Buddies (speechbuddy.com)

  • Find a Speech-Language Pathologist

American Academy of Audiology (audiology.org)

American Board of Audiology (boardofaudiology.org)

American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (enthealth.org)

International Association of Orofacial Myology (iaom.com)

American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders (stutteringspecialists.org)

American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (swallowingdisorders.org)

National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (nbaslh.org)