Speech Supplemented Word Prediction Program

Period of Performance: 08/01/2007 - 07/31/2008

$295K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Invotek, Inc.
Alma, AR 72921
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Commercial speech recognition software offers many people with physical limitations an important computer access method. While this access method is reasonably reliable for people with typical speech, people with motor speech disorders (dysarthria) are presently not able to use this technology reliably. The purpose of this research is to provide these people with a unique assistive-device access method that utilizes their speech. We will accomplish this by continuing to develop a Speech Supplemented Word Prediction Program (SSWPP) that enables people with dysarthria to use their speech capabilities to interact with personal computers, with an emphasis on assisted writing. The central element of the SSWPP is custom speech-recognition software used in conjunction with word prediction. The feasibility results for the SSWPP developed during Phase 1 are exciting. The average keystroke savings achieved by people with dysarthria on typical sentences was 68%. Commercially available word prediction programs achieved no better than 47% keystroke savings on the same text. Phase 2 design activities include improving the speech recognition engine, developing an optimized microphone interface, integrating the SSWPP into Microsoft Word, and developing a speech-to-text display for use in face-to-face communication. People with disability will evaluate the new SSWPP. The Speech Supplemented Word Prediction Program is a tool for people with disability, who also have difficult to understand speech. This tool enables these people to use their speech to reduce the amount of work required to enter text into a computer and to communicate verbally more effectively.