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A tale of transitions: The challenges of integrating speech synthesis in aided communication

Smith, M and Murray, J and von Tetzchner, S and Langan, P (2010) A tale of transitions: The challenges of integrating speech synthesis in aided communication. In: Computer Synthesized Speech Technologies: Tools for Aiding Impairment. IGI Global. ISBN 9781615207251

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Abstract

Many aided communicators have used low-tech communication boards for extended periods of time when they receive a voice output device. Integrating sophisticated technology into conversational interactions draws on a range of skills for both the aided communicator and their speaking partners. A range of individual and environmental factors influences the transition from low-tech to hi-tech communication aids. This chapter considers the impact of these factors on intervention and the developmental course of two individuals, Niall and Cara. The potential benefits of synthetic speech are clearly illustrated in the stories of Niall and Cara and by the literature. However, the scaffolding needed to support effective use of voice output must be carefully constructed, if these benefits are to be realized in ways that lead to genuine social inclusion and to meaningful, positive changes in the communication experiences of aided communicators. © 2010, IGI Global.

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