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Title: On the design of visual feedback for the rehabilitation of hearing-impaired speech
Author: Carraro, Fabrizio
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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Hearing-impaired people have difficulties in developing normal language skills because of their lack of vocal feedback. Visual feedback, as a substitute for vocal feedback, has been used for many years by speech therapists in rehabilitation schemes. However clients and therapists have to cope with problems such as negative reinforcement, frustration, lack of motivation, and the high cost associated with these visual feedback approaches. This thesis analyses these problems, and describes a novel approach to designing visual feedback for the rehabilitation of hearing impaired speech. This novel approach takes into account previous research on visual display design techniques, necessary for implementing user-friendly graphic interfaces, together with the experience and comments from speech therapists using both traditional methods and computer-aided systems, invaluable for understanding what is missing or wrong in present speech rehabilitation systems. The thesis details original experiments to investigate the best way to visually represent a specific speech feature. A novel experimental method is used where, instead of proposing different visual representations for the various speech features (such as loudness, pitch, vowel quality etc.) and assessing which work best, the various visual stimuli are shown to the subject without specifying the associated speech feature. In this way an intuitive connection between visual stimuli and speech features (the sound produced by the subject) can be characterised. The goal of the experiments is to identify the best associations for visual stimuli and speech features. The visual stimuli for each association is then used in a visual feedback scheme for that speech feature. The results of these studies are merged with real-time and system cost considerations in order to design and implement a set of modules for effective hearing-impaired speech rehabilitation. Trial results with a cohort of deaf subjects are presented for a system which includes a range of visual stimuli approaches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available