Sonya S. Nikolova

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In this paper, we describe the design and preliminary evaluation of a hybrid desktop-handheld system developed to support individuals with aphasia, a disorder which impairs the ability to speak, read, write, or understand language. The system allows its users to develop speech communication through images and sound on a desktop computer and download this(More)
People with aphasia, a condition that impairs the ability to understand or generate written or spoken language, are aided by assistive technology that helps them communicate through a vocabulary of icons. These systems are akin to language translation systems, translating icon arrangements into spoken or written language and vice versa. However, these(More)
To compensate for the common inability of people with lexical production impairments to access and express intended concepts, we make use of models of human semantic memory that build on the notion of semantic similarity and relatedness. Such models, constructed on evidence gained from psycholinguistic experiments, form the basis of a large lexical(More)
It is challenging to navigate a dictionary consisting of thousands of entries in order to select appropriate words for building communication. This is particularly true for people with lexical access disorders like those present in aphasia. We make vocabulary navigation and word-finding easier by building a vocabulary network where links between words(More)
The difficulties of navigating vocabulary in an assistive communication device are exacerbated for individuals with lexical access disorders like those due to aphasia. We present the design and implementation of a vocabulary network based on WordNet, a resource that attempts to model human semantic memory, that enables users to find words easily. To correct(More)
In this paper, we introduce W2ANE, an Online Multimedia Language Assistant for individuals with aphasia, a language disorder that affects millions of people. W2ANE offers a rich online multimedia library (OMLA) supported by an adaptable and adaptive vocabulary scaffold (ViVA). The system, accessible over the Internet, provides a platform for applications(More)
It is challenging to search a dictionary consisting of thousands of entries in order to select appropriate words for building written communication. This is true both for people trying to communicate in a foreign language who have not developed a full vocabulary, for school children learning to write, for authors who wish to be more precise and expressive,(More)
In this paper, we present the design of ViVA, a visual vocabulary for aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that causes variability of impairments affecting individual's ability to speak, comprehend, read and write. Existing communication aids lack flexibility and adequate customization functionality failing to address this variability and to(More)
Finding words in an assistive communication device can be challenging and time consuming for individuals with lexical access disorders like those caused by aphasia. These users have persistent difficulties accessing and retrieving words due to impaired semantic links in their mental lexicon. As a result, they can easily get lost in a vocabulary hierarchy or(More)