Augmentative & Alternative Communication Interface Design

About Project

There is a substantial difference between the typical conversational rates of non-verbal people with fine motor impairments using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems and people with no communication impairments. This can be attributed to the text entry system for people with fine motor impairments being labour intensive. Moreover, pictorial AAC interface designs for text entry demand a great deal of visual-cognitive processing, which also contributes to slow text entry.

Through my studies I was able to produce a set of recommendations which compare novel technologies when adapted for text input in an AAC system. The Leap Motion Controller, the iPad, a breath communication device and a Repurposed Joystick with keyboard capabilities will be the focus input devices for this non-exhaustive study. My findings could markedly improve text input, making it 80-95% quicker than what is currently available in the market. The findings from this study have the potential to bring users of AAC devices communication rates closer to natural communication speeds, while reducing the gap in the user’s cognitive capabilities and their physical performance.


Stephanie Fynn - Project Manager, Researcher and UX Designer.

Scott O'Brian - Coder

Steven Leask - Co-Designer and End User

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