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Sandy Hirsch

MS, CCC/SLP

Sandy Hirsch, MS, CCC/SLP, is a licensed and board-certified speech-language pathologist with over 30 years of experience as a clinician, trainer, and educator. She received her MS in speech-language pathology in 1989 from the University of Washington and holds a BA in French and classics (1981) with a minor in music from Lancaster University in England. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Washington Speech-Language-Hearing Association (WSLHA), Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), The Voice Foundation, the Northwest Voice Foundation, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). She is a certified Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) clinician, as well as a trained Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy (LMRVT) clinician and Compton P-ESL accent modification trainer. Sandy has been a voice-specialized clinician throughout her career. She has worked in private practice, hospital, clinic, home health, hospice, and school settings, working with multiple neurological and functional diagnoses that include swallowing, voice, speech, language, and cognition.

Sandy has an international reputation in gender-affirming voice and communication training with over 30 years of experience in this area of the field. She is recognized for having developed a unique approach to modifying resonance in gender-affirming voice training (Hirsch's Acoustic Assumptions). Sandy has coedited and authored all editions of the Plural Publishing textbook on voice and communication training for transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) clients (Adler, Hirsch, & Mordaunt, 2006, 2012; Adler, Hirsch, & Pickering, 2019). Collaborating with two expert colleagues, Leah Helou and Christie Block, and with guest lecturer AC Goldberg, she has developed and taught annual training workshops for voice clinicians and educators committed to providing voice and communication services to TGNC people. These workshops include a webinar component to reach participants globally.

Sandy's work has been featured across all media, including Stemple & Hapner, 5th edition (6th edition in press), and ASHA's Perspectives. Sandy has presented regularly at the Esprit Gala and Gender Odyssey, as well as at ASHA, CPATH, the Voice Foundation Annual Symposium, VASTA, Fall Voice, the Art and Science of Performing Voice, and Moving Trans History Forward in Victoria, British Columbia. She has lectured at the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.

Drawing from a diverse background as a clinician, linguist, singer, and actress, Sandy is known to cut to the core of a communication challenge with sensitivity, humor, and precision. A marriage of theatre and singing, clinical voice expertise, and languages (French and German) gives her a rich perspective on communication training, as well as a deep understanding of diverse cultures and personalities.

Sandy is a 2023 recipient of the Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions in Clinical Achievement of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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Courses with Sandy Hirsch

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Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions: Nuancing Resonance for a Gender-Affirming Voice

Presented by Sandy Hirsch, MS, CCC/SLP

Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions: Nuancing Resonance for a Gender-Affirming Voice

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 55 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 53 Minutes

Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people are faced with a myriad of resonance puzzles. Additionally, there are varied approaches to resonance in gender-affirming voice training (GAVT) that continue to lack clear guidelines to help clinicians guide clients in gaining agency over their vocal instrument. This course will provide participants with evidence-based therapeutic applications of an acoustic solution called Hirsch's Acoustic Assumptions to solve resonance puzzles. It is assumed that participants will have some experience working with the TGNC population; however, the course will provide voice clinicians and voice teachers of all levels with organized, creative, thought-provoking, functional solutions to resonance challenges. Practitioners will gain an understanding of resonance challenges, learn to disentangle multiple physiologic variables affecting voice and speech output, and learn how to train their clients to execute desired resonance changes using systematic modifications applicable to a wide spectrum of unique vocal goals. Participants will develop tools that they will be able to put to immediate use in their practice across all clinical settings and the studio. This course is part 1 of a two-part series. The second course will launch in the catalog soon after the webinar and will show demonstrations of Hirsch's Acoustic Assumptions solution to achieve upper-range/feminine goals, lower-range/masculine goals, and nonbinary goals.

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Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions: A Gender Spectra Resonance Master Class

Presented by Sandy Hirsch, MS, CCC/SLP

Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions: A Gender Spectra Resonance Master Class

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 73 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 61 Minutes

Transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) people are faced with myriad resonance puzzles. Over almost 30 years of working with TGNC people, Hirsch has developed a set of specific acoustic solutions called Acoustic Assumptions (Hirsch, 2017). The approach is based in source-filter (Fant, 1960) and coarticulation (Kent & Minifie, 1977) theories as well as vowel formant research (e.g., Bozeman, 2013; Gelfer & Bennett, 2013; Hardy et al., 2020; Hillenbrand & Clark, 2009; Howell, 2016; Kawitzky & McCallister, 2020; Ladefoged, 1957; Lee et al., 2015; Lindblom & Sundberg, 2005; Peterson & Barney, 1952; Titze, 2005, 2000). It is assumed that participants will have some experience working with the TGNC population; however, the course will provide voice clinicians and voice teachers of all levels with organized, creative, thought-provoking, functional solutions to resonance challenges. Participants will develop tools that they will be able to put to immediate use in their practice in all clinical settings and the studio.

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Webinars with Sandy Hirsch

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Dec 4, 2023

Hirsch's Acoustic Assumptions: Nuancing Resonance for a Gender-Affirming Voice

Presented by Sandy Hirsch

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