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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Foad Hamidi, Melanie Baljko, Connie Ecomomopoulos, Nigel J. Livingston and Leonhard G. Spalteholz

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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