Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Complete OLP speech therapy support system (software) including interfaces, data management, administration, speech recognition technology, phonetic mapping technology

The main OLP result is a software system for speech therapy support in cases of articulatory disorders. Using this software, there are three ways in which the therapist can bring computers to help speech therapy:
- OLP includes ¿phonetic maps¿ on which target speech sounds are displayed. Clients¿ speech productions are plotted on the phonetic map in real time, along with the targets, for direct comparison. Thus, the display shows the degree of articulatory success and contributes to the gradual attainment of correct articulation. Maps can be constructed and customized to serve the needs of each particular client.

- OLP automatically recognises spoken words and evaluates each production in comparison to a target word set by the therapist. The classification into ¿right¿ and ¿wrong¿ leads to a gradually increasing success rate. The target word can be redefined to facilitate generalisation and automatisation of speech production.

- OLP helps control phonation by visually displaying the loudness and pitch of the client¿s voice. Exercises of increasing difficulty lead gradually to voice control. OLP technologies are supplemented by a filing and scheduling system.

The speech therapist keeps a client record and defines an exercise schedule for each client. The speech therapist selects and designs the practice exercises that best suit the individual needs of both therapist and client. Each exercise contains the necessary steps of data collection, configuration, and repeated practice. OLP if fully flexible and adjustable, and the library of predefined exercises that comes with the software is automatically extended with the therapist¿s modifications and new exercises. Children practise their speech using graphical screens, as in video games. They receive feedback on their performance through amusing animations.

For adults, exercises without graphics are provided, in which progress is indicated numerically. The speech therapist monitors each client¿s progress by studying the graphical results of training. In this way, weaknesses are easily identified and use of the technologies can be modified to serve the therapy objectives more effectively and efficiently. In OLP, the therapist can monitor client practice through the Internet, using an advanced system to assign exercises and examine the results. During regular sessions, the therapist can focus on the initial acquisition of correct articulation, and then assign additional intensive practice as homework.

Thus the number of clients served by one therapist can be increased without sacrificing control or effectiveness of therapy.

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Reported by

Institute for Language & Speech Processing
Artemidos 6 & Epidavrou
15125 Maroussi