DESCRIPTION: Limitations of many disabled individuals' production efficiency, communication rate and vocabulary organization impact negatively on their ability to communicate competently using present-day Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. This project proposes a re-conceptualization in the way language units are organized and retrieved in present-day AAC technologies, by operationalizing recent linguistic research in frame theory. A frame-based organization for utterances is proposed by exploiting natural category systems found in the context, culture and conceptual structures of the individual. A method and system for implementing these knowledge structures on a computer system will be developed. Specifically, the purpose of Phase l of this project is to provide a proof of concept for the Frametalker technology design. During the course of the year we will a) develop a software prototype of the Frametalker, b) integrate it with a database of communication frame-structured utterances and c) submit Frametalker to laboratory and field-testing.
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