Testing an AAC system that transforms pictograms into natural language with persons with cerebral palsy

Joan Pahisa-Solé, Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, © 2017 RESNA. In this article, we describe a compansion system that transforms the telegraphic language that comes from the use of pictogram-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) into natural language. The system was tested with four participants with severe cerebral palsy and ranging degrees of linguistic competence and intellectual disabilities. Participants had used pictogram-based AAC at least for the past 30 years each and presented a stable linguistic profile. During tests, which consisted of a total of 40 sessions, participants were able to learn new linguistic skills, such as the use of basic verb tenses, while using the compansion system, which proved a source of motivation. The system can be adapted to the linguistic competence of each person and required no learning curve during tests when none of its special features, like gender, number, verb tense, or sentence type modifiers, were used. Furthermore, qualitative and quantitative results showed a mean communication rate increase of 41.59%, compared to the same communication device without the compansion system, and an overall improvement in the communication experience when the output is in natural language. Tests were conducted in Catalan and Spanish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
JournalAssistive Technology
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019


  • augmentative and alternative communication
  • communication
  • information technology and telecommunications


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