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Glossary » speech impairment

speech impairment

difficulty in spoken language, whether through vocalization or articulation impairments or through neurological language disorders. Computers can facilitate communication for people with speech difficulties. The field of study examining this is called AAC — Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Aphasias (language disorders) may be aided in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the disorder. In extreme cases, a person with an aphasia may find it impossible to communicate sentences in any amount of time or in any medium, and in those cases, choice systems may help them communicate a limited set of ideas without syntax.

When motor impairments are the source of speech difficulties, assistive devices allow a person to use non-vocal means to specify a phrase and may provide speech synthesis as output. Keyboards may be sufficient devices for some, but when motor impairment is more broad, some people may be able to enter single keystrokes only very slowly. A chart-retrieval system allows a person to enter an entire message by selecting it from a set of choices presented in a chart. Letter and message prediction systems anticipate the most likely next letter, word, or phrase that someone will wish to enter and make those easier to access.