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A Flexible Interactive Reading Support Tool

A Flexible Interactive Reading Support Tool

Objective

The FIRST project uses innovative language technology to simplify documents for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These people can have problems when reading such as difficulty understanding complex instructions, misinterpreting literal meanings, or being confused by uncommon words, figures of speech and lack of precision.
Using the language technology created in the FIRST project, users with ASD can convert a standard document into a personalised version which is easier for them to understand. The conversion software will automatically detect problematic language and replace it to make the text clearer. It will also simplify complex structure in the text and clarify ambiguity. Not relying purely on textual changes, the conversion software will add illustrative pictures to documents and will also offer navigation tools such as hyperlinked tables of contents and concise document summaries. Users with ASD will thus be empowered to read any documents with confidence and at their own convenience, without relying on support workers as can currently be the case. This will enable users with ASD to gain better access to educational, vocational, cultural and social opportunities in Europe.
Clinicians in three different EU countries will work closely with a test group of people with ASD, who will review the software and provide feedback to ensure that it is developed to meet their requirements. Tests of reading comprehension with and without the software will provide an explicit indication of the software's advantages. The involvement of a European support group for people with ASD will allow news of the software to be easily distributed to those who could benefit from it.
An exciting aspect of FIRST's research is that the simplifying language technology to be developed will have wide-ranging applications beyond that of users with ASD. Modified versions of the software could be of benefit to additional user groups within the healthcare system, as well as in other sectors (e.g. language learners, migrants, readers of legal documentation). The initial software prototype will be produced in English, Spanish and Bulgarian, and transfer of the software to other European languages post-project is foreseen.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON

Address

Wulfruna Street
Wv1 1ly Wolverhampton

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 487 440

Administrative Contact

Ruslan Mitkov (Prof.)

Participants (8)

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AUTISME-EUROPE AISBL

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 131 343

KODAR OOD

Bulgaria

EU Contribution

€ 96 480

PARALLEL WORLD SDRUZHENIE

Bulgaria

EU Contribution

€ 104 200

DELETREA SL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 71 381

UNIVERSIDAD DE ALICANTE

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 313 400

UNIVERSIDAD DE JAEN

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 367 400

IWEB TECHNOLOGIES LTD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 184 000

CENTRAL AND NORTH WEST LONDON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 253 110

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 287607

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 October 2011

  • End date

    30 September 2014

Funded under:

FP7-ICT

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 507 218

  • EU contribution

    € 2 008 754

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON

United Kingdom