Effective Self-Expression for People with Severe Speech Disorders

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43DC012734-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43DC012734
Amount: $162,725.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDCD
Solicitation Number: PA11-096
Small Business Information
DUNS: 956866784
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (479) 632-4166
Business Contact
Phone: (479) 632-4166
Email: tjakobs@invotek.org
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Speech generating devices (SGDs) offer people with difficult to understand speech (dysarthria) a synthesized speech replacement for their natural speech. However, people who require SGDs often prefer using their natural speech because it is perceived as normal and is cognitively less demanding for the speaker than other communication methods. Additionally, natural speech carries with it a sense of personal identity that synthesized speech cannot match. We propose a newgenre of communication device, named Real Talk, which augments an individual's natural speech ability instead of replacing it. We accomplish this through our unique speech recognition technology, which we developed specifically for individuals with dysarthria and that integrates tightly with our word prediction software. This combination of speech recognition and word prediction substantially reduces the typing required to produce messages. For this project we will improve our existing speech recognition system to use noise- tolerant microphones that enable accurate recognition in noisy environments. We will supplement natural dysarthric speech with a written transcript for face-to-face conversations and provide synthesized speech output for other communication environments. Individuals with dysarthria will evaluate the technology in laboratory and real-life settings and the impact of this device on communicative interactions will be measured. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed device helps people to communicate effectively when they have physical disability and their speech is difficult or impossible to understand.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government