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Journal cover: Journal of Assistive Technologies

Journal of Assistive Technologies

ISSN: 1754-9450

Online from: 2007

Subject Area: Health and Social Care

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Ambiguous keyboards for AAC

Document Information:
Title:Ambiguous keyboards for AAC
Author(s):Simon Judge, (Senior Clinical Scientist in the Assistive Technology Team, Barnsley Hospital, Barnsley, UK), Marcus Friday, (Clinical Scientist in the Assistive Technology Team, Barnsley Hospital, Barnsley, UK)
Citation:Simon Judge, Marcus Friday, (2011) "Ambiguous keyboards for AAC", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 5 Iss: 4, pp.249 - 256
Keywords:Ambiguous keyboards, Augmentative and alternative communication, Communication aids, Communication technologies, Disambiguation, Keyboards, Language entropy
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/17549451111190650 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – “Ambiguous keyboards” and “disambiguation processes” are becoming universally recognised through the popularisation of “predictive text messaging” on mobile phones. As this paper shows, although originating in the AT and AAC fields, these terms and techniques no longer appear to be widely understood or adopted by practitioners or users. The purpose of this paper is to introduce these techniques, discussing the research and theory around them, and to suggest them as AT and AAC strategies to be considered by practitioners and users.

Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper that describes the use of ambiguous keyboards and disambiguation. The hypothesis of the paper is that ambiguous keyboards and disambiguation processes offer potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of AAC and should thus be considered further in research and practice.

Findings – The two broad methods for removing the ambiguity from the output of an ambiguous keyboard are presented. A summary of the literature around the use of disambiguation processes provided and the use of disambiguation processes for AAC discussed.

Originality/value – This paper suggests that ambiguity should be adopted as a characteristic of an AAC keyboard as should the method of removing ambiguity – namely either coding or a disambiguation process.

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