Monitoring speaking rate by telephone for persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Laura J. Ball, David R. Beukelman, Cara Ullman, Kristin Maassen, Gary L. Pattee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This clinical note describes strategies to monitor the speaking rate of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in order to predict the timing of speech deterioration so that augmentative and alternative communication technology might be acquired in a timely manner. Speech samples produced by seven participants were audio recorded simultaneously onsite and over a standard analog telephone line. Speaking rate was measured using the TALLY (Yorkston, Beukelman, & Tice, 1998) and Cool Edit Pro (Syntrillium Software, 2002) computer software programs. Results reveal that the mean speaking rates recorded over a telephone line were within 0.5 words per minute of the samples recorded onsite. These results support the use of speaking rate monitoring at a distance in the manner it was used to monitor the speech performance of persons with ALS. Speech intelligibility was not measured or monitored using telephone technology. A case example is provided of a man with ALS whose speaking rate was monitored at a distance in order to provide appropriate timing of his augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessment and intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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