A mobile phone based personal narrative system

Rolf Black, Annalu Waller, Nava Tintarev, Ehud Reiter, Joseph Reddington

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Currently available commercial Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) technology makes little use of computing power to improve the access to words and phrases for personal narrative, an essential part of social interaction. In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation of a mobile phone application to enable data collection for a personal narrative system for children with severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI). Based on user feedback from the previous project "How was School today?" we developed a modular system where school staff can use a mobile phone to track interaction with people and objects and user location at school. The phone also allows taking digital photographs and recording voice message sets by both school staff and parents/carers at home. These sets can be played back by the child for immediate narrative sharing similar to established AAC device interaction using sequential voice recorders. The mobile phone sends all the gathered data to a remote server. The data can then be used for automatic narrative generation on the child's PC based communication aid. Early results from the ongoing evaluation of the application in a special school with two participants and school staff show that staff were able to track interactions, record voice messages and take photographs. Location tracking was less successful, but was supplemented by timetable information. The participating children were able to play back voice messages and show photographs on the mobile phone for interactive narrative sharing using both direct and switch activated playback options.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationASSETS'11
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 13th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. 24-26 October 2011, Dundee, United Kingdom
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450309202
    ISBN (Print)9781450309196
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Augmentative and alternative communication
    • Personal narrative
    • Language development
    • Accessibility
    • Assistive technology
    • Disability
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Mobile phone application
    • Voice output communication aid
    • Speech Generating Device
    • User centred design
    • AAC
    • VOCA
    • SGD


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