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Why don't professionals provide speech driven environmental controls? perceptions of current speech driven environmental controls.

Judge, S., Robertson, Z. and Hawley, M. S. (2010) Why don't professionals provide speech driven environmental controls? perceptions of current speech driven environmental controls. In: Proceedings of SRR. Society of Research in Rehabilitation, 7th and 8th July 2010, Sheffield. The Society for Research in Rehabilitation , Sheffield , pp. 953-959.

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Abstract

Background: This study set out to collect data from assistive technology professionals about their provision of speech-driven environmental control systems. This study is part of a larger study looking at developing a new speech-driven environmental control system.

Method: A focus group for assistive technology professionals was conducted attended by 6 professionals (4 service managers and 2 Clinical Scientists). The topic guide for the focus group was developed through 2 exploratory interviews with 2 Clinical Scientist Service Managers.

The focus group was split into two parts, a morning session that explored the professionals� issues with existing speech-driven environmental control systems and an afternoon session that explored the professionals� aspirations for speech-driven environmental control systems. The focus group was facilitated by an experienced researcher with good knowledge of assistive technology but who was independent from the project. This focus group was recorded, transcribed and then analysed using a framework approach.

Results/Findings: The analysis suggested that professionals have a �mental model� of a successful user of a speech-driven system and that in general they consider such systems either as a �last resort� or to work in parallel with another system as a backup. Perceived poor reliability was highlighted as a major influence in the provision of speech-driven environmental control systems although there were also positive perceptions about the use of speech under controlled circumstances. Comparison with published data from end-users showed that professionals highlighted the majority of issues identified by end-users.

Discussion: Assistive technology professionals think that speech has potential as an access method but are cautious about using speech-driven environmental control systems predominantly due to concerns about reliability. Professionals seem able to empathise well with the challenges faced by end-users in use of these systems.

Conclusion: This work has provided evidence regarding the low provision of speech-driven environmental control systems in the UK. It has highlighted key reasons why professionals consider provision of such systems and suggests that they empathise with the challenges faced by end-users in the operation of these systems.

The main issues highlighted were around reliability of the systems and this corresponds with the results of the end-user study on the same topic. These results suggest that, if reliability could be improved, speech driven systems could become more widely used and the benefits, such as speed and compactness, could be appreciated by more end-users.

Item Type: Proceedings Paper
Keywords: speech recognition,environmental control, user-involvement,professional prescription
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Simon Judge
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2012 10:15
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2014 10:18
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269215511410925
Status: Published
Publisher: The Society for Research in Rehabilitation
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1177/0269215511410925
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74409

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