Authors Simon Judge, Andrea Lee, Mark S Hawley, Stuart Cunningham
JournalJournal of medical engineering & technology, October 2015
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JMET Journal

Use of voice output communication aids (VOCAs) can be a very effective strategy to assist people with speech impairments in communicating. Despite this, people who use communication aids often express frustration with VOCAs—desiring devices that are simpler, quicker and more effective to use. Whilst it is not possible to resolve all these issues with technology, it is argued that significant progress can be made. The use of contextual information is one development that could improve the simplicity and effectiveness of communication aid design. Improving the effectiveness of communication aids, including through the use of context support, is a goal of the NIHR Devices for Dignity Assistive Technology Theme. This discussion paper examines the potential for creating ‘context aware’ communication aids. Three projects in which the authors have been involved are described to illustrate different approaches to the use of contextual information.

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