Comedy Routine Gives Voice to Man Without Speech

May 2nd, 2012 by Kel Smith | Filed under Attitudes of Disability, Innovation, Inspiration

Lee Ridley, born with cerebral palsy and unable to speak since birth, transforms himself as a working stand-up comedian at London’s Soho Theatre. Helped by the iPad and text-to-speech software, Ridley operates under the stage name “Lost Voice Guy.” His act is quickly becoming one of the best stories in contemporary entertainment.

Ridley’s routine is funny, intelligent, and softly self-deprecating:

“In case you were in any doubt I really am disabled. It’s not just really good acting and I’m definitely not just in it for the parking space.”

“When I realized I would never be able to talk again I was speechless.”

“I am not related to Steven Hawking in any way. However I do hate the way people take the *** out of the way he speaks. I can really synthesize with him!”

“People have often asked me why I want to put myself in a position where everyone can look and stare at me. The truth is that it happens to me every day any way. At least this way there’s a scheduled time and place for it.”

Presenters with disabilities who use an iPad is not new; at CSUN 2011, Glenda Watson Hyatt told a wonderful story through the device and captivated a full ballroom. It is nice to see folks transcend the use of technology for a greater purpose, such as expressing oneself or to pursue a career goal.

Many thank to Char James-Tanny for bringing this story to my attention via Twitter.

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