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Www.first-asd.eu www.openbooktool.net. A tool for simplifying text For people with autism who have difficulty with understanding regular text Converts.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.first-asd.eu www.openbooktool.net. A tool for simplifying text For people with autism who have difficulty with understanding regular text Converts."— Presentation transcript:

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2 A tool for simplifying text For people with autism who have difficulty with understanding regular text Converts written information into a simpler format eg. English > simplified English eg. Spanish > simplified Spanish Using computerised language technology, it aims to improve independence and social inclusion of people with autism Developed by the FIRST Project - 9 organisations under a European Commission FP7 Programme funded 3-year cooperative research project Available in English, Spanish & Bulgarian Introducing Open Book

3 Intellectual abilities vary between individuals, from superior intelligence in some areas to profound intellectual disability Language skills also vary between individuals (some people who have autism do not speak at all) Yet, all people with autism experience some difficulties in:  Comprehending speech and writing  Interpreting figurative/non-literal language  Understanding complex instructions  Deriving the meaning or gist of written documents  More information about autism: Autism & reading comprehension difficulties

4 The simplification process includes: – Replacement of: long complex sentences > several short, simple sentences informal expressions > regular language – Provision of definitions for words and expressions that are: long / technical ambiguous non-literal (eg. metaphors) related to emotions – Addition of: images links to more information on unfamiliar concepts How the tool works

5 How the program works

6 User interface: Original text

7 User interface: Adapted text

8 User interface: Magnification tool

9 User interface: Explain word feature

10 User interface: Explain with picture feature

11 User interface: Sentence simplification

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13 User preferences

14 User interface: Ask carer feature

15 Carer interface: Add a note to respond to question

16 Carer interface: Identifying obstacles to reading comprehension

17 Carer interface: Replace a word with a simpler one

18 Carer interface: Add an explanation for a word

19 Carer interface: Add a link to more information

20 Year 1 ( ) Year 2 ( ) Year 3 ( ) Research & development process Testing & evaluation Designing system architecture & user interface Identifying user requirements Processing structural complexity of languages Processing ambiguity in meaning of words Generating personalised documents Processing structural complexity of languages Processing ambiguity in meaning of words Generating personalised documents

21 Involvement of people with autism Involvement in all stages of software development Direct & indirect involvement (people with autism, as well as their teachers, parents, carers, and professionals) Planning – Information & advice from autism organisations Testing – 300 people with autism directly involved in testing the software Evaluation – 18 intermediaries (carers, social workers, psychologists & doctors) involved in evaluating the usefulness of the software for people with autism Perceptions of inclusion will be evaluated via qualitative interviews and focus groups with a sample of the people with autism who participated in testing the software Research & development process

22 Identifying user requirements - General Research during early phase of software development to define the needs of people with autism (in relation to accessing text documents) more clearly than any previous studies Focus group discussions with sample group of people with autism Research & development process

23 Testing & evaluation Testing with end users: People with autism -300 participants (both adults & children) with ‘high-functioning’ autism -Adults in UK, Children (aged 12 & above) in Spain, 100 in Bulgaria -Must have IQ of 70 or above -Tests to confirm participants’ diagnosis of high functioning autism -Reading comprehension tests with documents on various topics (under exam conditions) -Participants read documents in original and simplified formats -Participants answer multiple choice tests about their understanding of the documents -Testing results will inform future development / versions of the software Research & development process

24 Testing & evaluation Surveys for end users: Intermediaries -18 participants (3 clinical centres x 6 participants) -Including carers, social workers & psychologists -Provided with training on how to use the software -Participants are asked to use the software to prepare 6 documents for people with autism -Afterwards, participants complete a survey to assess the useability of the software for people with autism -Survey results inform development of final software product Research & development process

25 User & carer feedback  ''I think it's increased my vocabulary, I think it's made me use more complex words'' – User, United Kingdom  ''Not only is she reading significantly more, she's not coming to me, asking ‘what does that mean?'”. – Carer, United Kingdom  ''I can see that he starts to communicate with other children. He goes to them and starts talking, and he never did that before.'' – Parent, Bulgaria Research & development process

26 University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom Universidad de Alicante, Spain Autism-Europe a.i.s.b.l., Europe Universidad de Jaen, Spain Parallel World Sdruzhenie, Bulgaria Deletrea SL, Spain iWeb Technologies Ltd, United Kingdom Kodar OOD, Bulgaria Project partners

27 The research leading to this software product has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, ), under grant agreement n° Acknowledgements

28 Open Book Launch  Tomorrow morning, 11.40am (in the break)  at the Autism-Europe stand  (serving Belgian chocolates to guests!) More information:  Open Book:  FIRST Project website:  Join our mailing list:  Contact us: Launch & updates


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