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An investigation into the effect of text-to-speech technology for people with acquired dyslexia

Adams, F; (2006) An investigation into the effect of text-to-speech technology for people with acquired dyslexia. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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People with aphasia may experience difficulties reading and understanding written material. Text-to-speech (TTS) software has the potential to provide assistance to people with aphasia with poor reading skills. It converts text displayed on a computer screen into synthesised speech, so that the user can both see text on the screen and listen to it. Research has suggested TTS can provide substantial benefit to people with learning difficulties, allowing them to 'read' faster and improve their comprehension. There has been limited research into how this technology can help compensate for acquired reading difficulties. This study investigated the effects of TTS on the reading skills of two people with acquired dyslexia, looking at any changes in reading rate, comprehension and levels of confidence. It also aimed to examine whether any effects of TTS were due to the simultaneous auditory and visual presentation of information or to auditory information alone. Participants' ability to read with and without TTS was compared across a number of tasks. Whilst results showed no significant difference in comprehension between TTS and unaided reading, one participant experienced considerable improvements in reading rate. Confidence ratings were not significantly different. However, reports from one of the participants suggested that outside the constraints of experimental conditions TTS provides substantial assistance for his reading. Results also suggested both participants may be relying largely on only one of the TTS modalities. It was also proposed that the nature and demands of the different tasks affected the results considerably. The results of this study add to our understanding of the potential benefits of TTS for people with aphasia. Further research is needed with larger numbers of participants to establish the extent of these benefits, as well as how much the precise nature of a person's reading impairment and concomitant difficulties determine the likelihood of any benefits.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: An investigation into the effect of text-to-speech technology for people with acquired dyslexia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566979
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