Conference date and location: 24-26 October, 2011, Dundee, Scotland
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A Mobile Phone Based Personal Narrative System

Rolf Black, Annalu Waller, Nava Tintarev, Ehud Reiter and Joseph Reddington


Currently available commercial Augmentative and Alternative Communication technology makes little use of computing power to improve the access to words and phrases for personal narrative, an essential part of our social interaction. In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation of a mobile phone application to enable data collection for a personal narrative system for children with severe speech and physical disabilities (SSPI). Based on user feedback from the previous project “How was School today…?” we developed a modular system where school staff can use a mobile phone to track interaction with people and objects and user location at school. The phone also allows taking digital photographs and recording voice messages by both school staff and parents/carers at home. The voice messages and photographs can be accessed by the child for immediate narrative sharing similar to Step-by-Step AAC device interaction. The mobile phone sends the gathered data to a remote server. This data can then used for automatic narrative generation on the child’s PC based communication aid. Early results from the ongoing evaluation of the application in a special school with two participants and school staff show that staff were able to track interactions, record voice mes-sages and take photographs. Location tracking was less successful, but was supplemented by timetable information. The participating children were able to access messages and photographs on the mobile phone for interactive narrative sharing using both, direct and switch activated playback options.

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