Integrating familiar listeners and speech recognition technologies into augmentative and alternative communication intervention for adults with down syndrome: Descriptive exploration

Christine Holyfield, Kathryn Drager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many individuals with Down syndrome exhibit speech impairments that necessitate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention. AAC intervention allows for access to communication through means other than, or supplemental to, speech. This descriptive study provided initial insight into the feasibility of incorporating familiar listeners (e.g., family members) and speech recognition technology into AAC intervention to increase communication success for individuals with Down syndrome. Six adults with Down syndrome participated. The participants’ intelligibility to a familiar listener, unfamiliar listeners, and speech recognition technologies (i.e., Google Speech-to-Text and Windows Speech Recognition) was evaluated. Additionally, consistency in word pronunciation was evaluated to examine the feasibility of future training of speech recognition technologies. The participating adults with Down syndrome experienced limited intelligibility to all listeners and technologies but were most intelligible to familiar listeners. The adults also demonstrated consistencies across their production of words, and across one another’s productions. The findings suggest the promise in using familiar listeners as a current resource and speech recognition technology as a future resource in AAC intervention for adults with Down syndrome. However, intervention research and technological development are needed to thoroughly explore these approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAssistive Technology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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