MediaLTs extensive contact with disabled users suggested that there was still a pressing need and a considerable potential for Norwegian speech technology. Work on Norwegian Speech technology had unfortunately come to a halt in 2003 after the collapse of the Norwegian company involved with this. As a result of feedback from users we started a pre-project designed to define the needs and preferences for assistive speech technology and speech enabled computers, based on user experiences and the type of task they required. We were interested in a wide range of disabilities, and more specifically certain groups such as dyslectics, those with motor impairment, and visually impaired users. Our research focused on open interviews of groups of disabled users, heterogeneous with respect to age, type of disability and computer experience.
The work was supported by the Norwegian Research Council and IT Funk.
The results of this study have substantiated the suggestion that speech enablement can help to solve many of the challenges put forward by the users. The pre-project was started as a preparation for the establishment of new research cooperation for Norwegian speech technology.