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The purpose of this paper is to describe the development and evaluation of CanSpeak which is an open-source speech interface for users with dysarthria of speech. The…
The purpose of this paper is to describe the development and evaluation of CanSpeak which is an open-source speech interface for users with dysarthria of speech. The interface can be customized by each user to map a small number of words they can speak clearly to commands in the computer system, thereby adding a new modality to their interaction.
The interface was developed in two phases: in the first phase, the authors used participatory design to engage the users and their community in the customization of the system, and in the second phase, we used a more focussed co-design methodology during which a user of the system became a co-designer by directly making new design decisions about the system.
The study showed that it is important to include assistive technology users and their community in the design and customization of technology. Participation led to increased engagement, adoption and also provided new ideas that were rooted in the experience of the user.
The co-design phase of the project provided an opportunity for the researchers to work closely with a user of their system and include her in design decisions. The study showed that by employing co-design new insights into the design domain can be revealed and incorporated into the design that might not be revealed otherwise.
The purpose of this paper is to present TalkBox, an affordable and open-source communication board for users with communication or speech disorders. Making and tinkering…
The purpose of this paper is to present TalkBox, an affordable and open-source communication board for users with communication or speech disorders. Making and tinkering methods are combined with community engagement and participatory design to create a democratic and accessible approach to assistive technology design.
The authors employed a community-engaged participatory design methodology where we incorporated input from stakeholders into the design of the interface. Close collaboration with our community partner allowed us to make informed decisions on different aspects of the design from sourcing of the material to testing the prototype.
Through describing TalkBox, the paper presents a concrete example of how assistive technology can be designed and deployed more democratically, how collaborations between academia and community partners can be established, and how the design reflects different aspects of the methodology used.
This paper explores the question of how can open-source technology and making methods contribute to the development of more affordable and inclusive designs through a concrete example.