Computer-based Speech Practice for Dysarthria
This research project focuses on the use of new technology able to recognize the speech of persons with moderate to severe speech impairments. Specifically, the use of this technology as a speech practice tool will be investigated. The technology is based upon models of impaired speech and will recognize speech characteristics of the individual user. Participants will be involved in the initial therapeutic trials of this technology. If you are interested in becoming a participant for this study, please contact us. We are looking for persons 18 years of age and older, with moderate to severe speech impairments (dysarthria) due to brain injury.
Safe-laser Access System
The Safe-laser Access System was developed by Invotek, Inc. in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. This system utilizes a specially designed eye-safe laser. The laser remains pulsing at a low, eye-safe level, until it is directed at a laser-sensing surface. This technology has been used by persons with limited movement to communicate as well as to facilitate head movement training. Results of the initial field test trials of this technology have been published (Fager, Beukelman, Karantounis, & Jakobs, 2006) and development of a new laser keyboard is currently underway. This research has been supported by a phase I fast track grant from the NIH. If you are interested in learning more about the Safe-laser Access System or becoming a research participant, please contact us.
New Prosthetic Interventions for Persons with Severe Dysarthria
This research has been initiated in the Communication Center's Speech Physiology Lab in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Velopharyngeal dysfunction (involving the soft palate resulting in excessive nasal air emission during speech) can be observed in some persons with dysarthria. Palatal lift prostheses are commonly used to compensate for velopharyngeal incompetence. However, there are individuals that cannot be fitted with a palatal lift. In these situations, the researchers at the Communication Center have designed new prosthetic interventions that close off this airflow from the nose (nasal obturator) Current research focuses on development of this cost-efficient prosthesis to improve speech intelligibility. If you would like to learn more about our work in nasal obturation or are interested in being evaluated, please contact us.
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Supplemented Speech Recognition (SSR)
The SSR is currently under development by Invotek, Inc. in collaboration with the Center for Spoken Language Understanding at the Oregon Health & Science University's OGI School of Science and Engineering, and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. The Communication Center has been a field test and data collection site for this project and has been supported through a phase 2 SBIR from NIH. The SSR is a unique computer access application that incorporates speech recognition technology optimized for dysarthria speakers along with powerful language modeling. Initial field test results of this technology were encouraging with severely dysarthric individuals able to achieve keystroke savings of up to 66% using the SSR. If you would like to learn more about this technology please contact us.