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Proceedings of SLPAT-2011: 2nd Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies

Authors Melanie Fried-Oken
Peter Ljunglöf
Kathleen McCoy
Annalu Waller
ISBN 978-1-937284-14-5
Publisher Association for Computational Linguistics
Place of publication Stroudsburg, PA
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Computing Science (GU)
Language en
Subject categories Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)


We are pleased to bring you these Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (SLPAT), held in Edinburgh, Scotland on 30 July, 2011. We received 19 paper submissions, of which 9 were chosen for oral presentation and another 6 for poster presentation – all 15 papers are included in this volume. In addition, five demo proposals were accepted, and short abstracts of these demos are also included here. This workshop was intended to bring researchers from all areas of speech and language technology with a common interest in making everyday life more accessible for people with physical, cognitive, sensory, emotional or developmental disabilities. This workshop builds on the first such workshop (co-located with NAACL HLT 2010); it provides an opportunity for individuals from research communities, and the individuals with whom they are working, to share research findings, and to discuss present and future challenges and the potential for collaboration and progress. While Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a particularly apt application area for speech and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies, we purposefully made the scope of the workshop broad enough to include assistive technologies (AT) as a whole, even those falling outside of AAC. While we encouraged work that validates methods with human experimental trials, we also accepted work on basic-level innovations and philosophy, inspired by AT/AAC related problems. Thus we have aimed at broad inclusivity, which is also manifest in the diversity of our Program Committee. We are very excited to have four invited speakers. Sylvia Grant, Darryal Stark and Greg McMurchie will speak on their experiences and perspectives as users of AAC technology. Norman Alm will chair this expert panel and facilitate discussion between the panel and workshop participants. Norman has a wealth of research experience in applying NLP technologies to AAC and we look forward to a truly interactive and informative session. We would like to thank all four speakers for taking the time to participate and provide their collective insight to the workshop. We would also like to thank the members of the Program Committee for completing their reviews promptly, and for providing useful feedback for deciding on the program and preparing the final versions of the papers. Thanks also to Marie Candito, Bonnie Webber and Miles Osborne for assistance with logistics and to Brian Roark for his guidance and support. Finally, thanks to the authors of the papers, for submitting such interesting and diverse work, and to the presenters of demos and commercial exhibitions.

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