The Open Voice Factory

Free speech, for everyone

About The Open Voice Factory

Up to 15 in every 1,000 children have such severe speech-language impairments that they have difficulty making themselves understood, This affects everything from daily activities like playing with other children and taking part in school to talking to a doctor about your symptoms or your family about your hopes.

Electronic speech aids, which ‘speak’ set words or phrases when a sequence of symbols are pressed, can be life-changing for these children, but current devices are expensive even in economically developed countries.

The Open Voice Factory (which won Nesta’s Inclusive Technology Prize) provides free speech aid software by converting communication boards into communication devices.

Anyone can create an aid by editing a PowerPoint communication board template to add their own pages or utterances. When you upload your template to the factory, it will create a working communication aid for you.

The resulting programs run on any platform, from tablets to laptops to phones, without installation or complex setup.

Everything we make is free. That’s free as in ‘don’t pay for it’ and free as in speech. All of our code is freely available on github here and anyone can change or repurpose without having to ask us first. We’re supported by the volunteers who write the code, create the templates and help out all over.

The sections below let you play with our demos, have a go at creating your own, and find out how you can help.


Want to play with the aids that the Open Voice Factory produces?

Currently the aids that the factory builds need an internet connection to work properly. We’re working on that right now.

Create your own.

If you’d like some help getting started, you can download a simple starting template of CK12 or CK20 and look at our help files.

We are well aware that many people all around the world are priced out of speech. That’s something we want to change. We also know that people who are carers or work in speech needs haven’t got the time to learn to use complex websites and new things.

The Open Voice Factory is simple. There are NO usernames, NO passwords. Just upload a template and you’ll be given a special link that you can always use to get back to the communication device you created.

You can try it out right now by going to our upload page and making a start by watching our 60 second getting started video.


The Open Voice Factory relies on volunteers to do things like test, convert, spot errors, and write documentation. We want to thank all of these people who’ve already made a contribution to either this or the CommuniKate project. We really couldn’t have done it without out you.

  • Paulo Ricca
  • Brian Whitmer
  • David Niemeijer
  • Hugo Pacheco
  • Will Wade
  • Margarida Pinto
  • Ian Foulger
  • Julie Bello
  • Marlene Padrão
  • José Danado
  • André Nascimento
  • Carla Pinto
  • Miguel Bento Alves
  • Laurine Groux-Moreau
  • Maria Hewett
  • Paul Hewett
  • Gemma Eardley
  • Zak Sly
  • Stef Armitage
  • Alison Carpenter
  • Trevor Mobbs
  • Diana Mountain
  • Fil McIntyre
  • Angie McCormac
  • Janet Mayers
  • Katie Clarke
  • Helen Quiller
  • Helen Dixon
  • Tamsin Crothers
  • Megan Hughes
  • Anna Flynn
  • Janet and Michael Williams
  • Joe Reddington
  • Kate McCallum
  • Kirsty McNaught
  • Steve Canny
  • Tom Bamber
  • Ivona Hristova
  • Jaroslav Ryník

We’re always looking for more people to make a contribution, particular coders, designers, translators and testers. If you like what we are trying to do, please get in touch.

The Open Voice Factory is an eQuality Time intervention.