Communication Aid for Speech Impaired People

OData support
Supervisor:
Dr. Gyires-Tóth Bálint Pál
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

Speech impaired persons face every day such situations, where they are unable to understand themselves with their fellows. Thus they need such solutions, which can even partially replace their speaking ability. Compared to other groups of disabled people, the number of speech impaired people is lower, so there are few solutions created, which would provide the required services at affordable prices. But todays mobile devices are able to run complex, resource demanding applications with high complexity user interfaces, and they are capable to create a new type of communication, utilizing the speech interface, applying text to speech conversion.

Applications using text to speech conversion can assure an elevated standard of living for speech impaired people; because they are able to assure the possibility for face to face communication. The users’ sense of security is also improved by the fact that they are able to request assistance using the application running on a mobile device under any circumstances. During the development phase of such application we have to pay attention to select the carrier device, and to apply the right architecture, to make the application ideally usable in everyday life.

Additionally an application that uses text to speech conversion is usable not only in common situations but in the treatment of speech impaired persons as a therapeutic application as well. In some cases speech impairment does not mean permanent loss of speaking ability, speech and language therapy should be a solution for speech ability improvement. The demands of the therapeutic use are different, than in the case of everyday use, so special attention should be paid to this during development.

My paper aims to introduce self-developed applications that were created expressly for speech impaired people, and for their supporting language therapists. In my paper I discuss the needs and requirements regarding the application that are necessary in the interest for everyday use, and I review the further requirements of the application meant for therapeutic use. In the next part of the paper I discuss in detail the architecture and the realization of the applications. I show the methodology used for the performed user tests, and I also review the results of these tests. After this I present community portal created expressly for the users of the applications, and finally I turn to my future plans, possible ways for improvement and I will summarize my work.

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