If you use AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) technology to communicate, you may be interested in contributing data to the Microsoft Research AAC Corpus Project. The purpose of this project is to create an anonymized public corpus of text generated using AAC devices. Creating such a corpus is important for advancing the state of the art of assistive communications devices – with more realistic corpora, researchers may be able to create better word prediction and spelling correction algorithms, improve user interfaces for common interactions, and develop better evaluation protocols to measure the efficiency of AAC devices for the types of tasks most important to end users. Participants can upload saved files that they have composed using AAC (e.g., saved phrases, blog posts, emails, pre-prepared speeches and texts, etc.); efforts will be made to anonymize the files to remove personally identifying information, and files from all participants will be aggregated and ultimately released as a public data resource to further research on improving AAC technologies. You can learn more about the project and donate data at https://aka.ms/aaccorpus.
The Microsoft Research Enable team is not recruiting participants for in-person studies at the current time; however, we will post additional study participation opportunities here in the future, so do check back! If you live in the Seattle metro area and have ALS and wish to be notified of opportunities for giving feedback on AAC technology prototypes, please email Dr. Meredith Ringel Morris to indicate interest. Our team can visit your residence if it is within a 45-minute commute of our lab, or you can visit us in Redmond, depending on your preference.