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Speech assistive communicative aid for those with speech impairment

People struggling with speech disorders have problems communicating in their daily lives as they suffer partial or complete speech impairment. To help them tackle the same, speech assisted communicative aid has been developed by a team of professors along with National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD).

Speech assistive communicative aid for those with speech impairment
Representative Image ? Source: Insight Medical Campus


As a large number of people struggle with mainly Dysarthria, Professor P Vijayalakshmi, Department of ECE at SSN College of Engineering and her team has collected a database of Tamil Dysarthric Speech, with the help of NIEPMD to contribute to rehabilitation research. 

Using this database, the team has developed a Speech-Assistive Communication Aid for dysarthric speakers mounted on a Raspberry pi. This aid can also be extended as an application in the future.

Vijayalakshmi and her team worked closely with 20 dysarthric speakers from NIEPMD for almost three years and have collated a speech corpus of Tamil syllables that can be used by different software to assist dysarthric patients.  The collection has been approved by the Head of the Institution and the Head of Speech and Language Department, NIEPMD and is distributed by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), University of Pennsylvania.

"The techniques or devices developed using this database can be used by the speech disorder community, especially people with articulatory disorder, in India for communicating. Further, this database can help developing systems to assess the severity of speech disorders," says Vijayalakshmi.

As per the survey conducted by the Government of India in 2011, speech disorder is listed as the fifth-highest disability, with a prevalence rate of 7.5 percent. "Many people are unaware of the communicative aid they can use for their daily activities. The population of people who suffer from the speech disability would benefit from the developed aid," she added.

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