Communication System for People with Physical Disability Using Voice Recognizer

Seigou YASUDA  Akira OKAMOTO  Hiroshi HASEGAWA  Yoshito MEKADA  Masao KASUGA  Kazuo KAMATA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E81-A    No.6    pp.1097-1104
Publication Date: 1998/06/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section of Papers Selected from ITC-CSCC'97)
Category: Human Communications and Ergonomics
disabled people,  multi-modal interface,  voice recognition,  electronic mail,  

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For people with serious disability, it is most significant to be able to use the same communication methods, for instance a telephone and an electronic mail system (e-mail), as ordinary people do in order to get a normal life and communicate with other people for leading a social life. In particular, having communications access to an e-mail is a very effective method of communication that enables them to convey their intention to other people directly while at the same time keep their privacy. However, it takes them much time and effort to input an e-mail text on the computer. They also need much support by their attendants. From this point of view, we propose a multi-modal communication system that is composed of a voice recognizer, a pointing device, and a text composer. This system intend to improve the man-machine interface for people with physical disability. In this system, our voice recognition technology plays a key role in providing a good interface between disabled people and the personal computer. When generating e-mail contents, users access the database containing user keywords, and the guidance menu from which they select the appropriate word by voice. Our experimental results suggest that this communication system improves not only the time efficiency of text composition but also the readiness of disabled people to communicate with other people. In addition, our disabled subject on this paper is not able to move his body, legs and hands due to suffer from muscular dystrophy. And he is able to move only his fingers and speak command words with the assistance of a respirator.