A Novel Approach to Communication for Individuals with Complete Paralysis June 4, 2024 at 8:00 am

“This session introduces an innovative communication system designed for individuals with complete paralysis, such as those experiencing locked-in syndrome. Our approach utilizes a video game-like interface to control an articulatory speech synthesizer through imagined limb movements, enabling users to produce speech. The system leverages virtual reality and adaptive learning techniques, resembling the process of learning to play a musical instrument.

This pioneering method provides a potential breakthrough in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies, offering a new avenue for expressive communication beyond traditional methods. Attendees will explore the system’s conceptual framework and the collaborative effort required to realize its potential. This presentation seeks to foster dialogue on enhancing accessibility and empowerment for individuals facing severe communication barriers.”

Key Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
1. explain the currently available AAC options for individuals with complete paralysis, including their limitations and the challenges they present in enabling effective communication.
2. identify the principles of motor learning and adaptability that underpin a user’s ability to control speech synthesizers through imagined limb movements, offering insights into potential rehabilitation and AAC applications.
3. discuss the potential impact of innovative AAC systems on enhancing the quality of life and communication capabilities of individuals with severe motor impairments, fostering an attitude of innovation and collaboration in addressing complex accessibility challenges.


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