Third Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (SLPAT)

Co-located with NAACL HLT 2012
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2012

Sponsored by the ACL Special Interest Group on
Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (SIG-SLPAT)

Workshop overview and topics of interest

Assistive technologies (AT) allow individuals with disabilities to do things that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to do. An obvious and ubiquitous example is a wheelchair, which assists with mobility. Many examples of assistive technologies involve providing universal access, such as modifications to televisions or telephones to make them accessible to those with vision or hearing impairments. An important sub-discipline within the AT research community is known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), which is focused on communication technologies for those with impairments that interfere with some human communication modality, such as spoken or written communication.

From providing access to the web for individuals with severe motor impairments, to improving the intelligibility of speech spoken by individuals with speech impairments, the range of topics in Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) that make use of (or could make use of) speech and natural language processing (NLP) technologies is very large. Yet the number of individuals actively working within the two research communities – AT/AAC on the one hand and speech/NLP on the other – is relatively small. This workshop will build on two previous workshops (the first co-located with NAACL-HLT 2010 in Los Angeles and the second with EMNLP 2011 in Edinburgh), bringing together individuals from both research communities and the individuals they are working to assist.

AAC is a particularly apt application area for speech and NLP technologies. While we will encourage work that validates the methods with human experimental trials, we will also consider work on basic-level innovations, inspired by AT/AAC related problems. Thus we are aiming for a broad inclusivity, which is also manifest in the diversity of our confirmed Program Committee.

Following the format of the two previous workshops on this topic, the WS will be composed of paper presentations, possibly an invited keynote talk, a demo and poster session, as well as a unique panel discussion involving not only those working on researching and developing assistive technologies, but also consumers of these technologies. This "user panel" has been a highlight of both previous workshops.

Topics of interest for submission to the workshop include (but are not limited to):


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