ERCIM News No.28 - January 1997

ISAEUS - Speech Training for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired People

by Jean-Paul Haton

The ISAEUS project aims at developing hardware and software tools for speech training for hearing-impaired and deaf persons, on a multilingual basis, in French, German and Spanish languages. The project will benefit from the long experience of the consortium in the automatic processing of the three target languages, as well as in speech training for the deaf and foreign language teaching.

Speech education and/or rehabilitation with computer-assisted techniques are mostly adapted to children, under the guidance of a teacher. For adult people, the concept of individual training is of prime importance: it is the case of hearing impaired having reached a reasonable oral language level, or people impaired by acquired deafness and whose speech may get worse. The computer would intervene as a guarantee or as a warning tool in case of voice deterioration.

After identification of user requirements in close co-operation with user groups for the three languages, the project will consist of the development of a software package and a PC board for transforming speech signals into images. These images will constitute the real time visual feedback for the deaf subject.

The project features some important characteristics:

Besides, the extension of ISAEUS to foreign language learning will be considered. Actually, with the increase in international exchange, communi-cation in foreign languages, especially oral communication, is becoming ever more important. Therefore, demands on pronunciation training within foreign language teaching have increased as well. Further synergetic effects will be obtained by taking advantage of a common core in diagnostic procedures and in training methodologies which are employed in corrective speech training for both hearing impaired people and foreign language students.

The project involves five partners: Technical University of Madrid (coordinator), CRIN/INRIA,Nancy, University of Bonn, Teima Audiotex- Madrid, and Thomson ASM, Sophia Antipolis. The project will start in January 1997.

Please contact:
Jean-Paul Haton - Universite Henri-Poincare, Nancy I and CRIN/INRIA-Lorraine
Tel: +33 3 83 59 20 50

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