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Application for Speech training congenitally hearing impaired children and to assist deaf people to talk and undersand speech

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243766D
Publication Date: 2015-Oct-16
Document File: 5 page(s) / 171K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

It is generally seen that children who can not hear, can not talk because hearing is essential to talk. Hearing teaches how to talk and provides a continuous closed loop feedback to the speaker so as to adjust speech delivery accordingly. Hearing impaired children are not able to do so and are forced to remain mute throughout their life and we as a society seem to have accepted this as a bitter truth.

A very few of the hearing impaired children undergo rigorous and expensive training schedules for over a decade and learn to speak though they can not hear. Such people can converse with other people by talking to them. In this manner a speech enabled person is not required to learn lip reading or sign language to converse with hearing impaired persons. The hearing impaired person still needs to lip read when the other person speaks. Yet, if the hearing impaired person can at least speak, it leads to their much better integration with the society at large.

With unprecedented technology penetration, now mobile devices or computers are within reach of every person on the planet. These devices can be used to provide a cost effective and easy means to speech train children with hearing impairment and to enable them to talk throughout their life. The idea is visual conversion of speech. A system is designed with the help of computer or mobile device that converts speech to visual symbols that a child can intuitively follow. In this manner, an alternative visual feedback syatem is provided to the hearing impaired person to enable that person talk.

It should be noted that children learn to talk inituitively much before they start going to school here they learn alphabets. Alphabets are an abstract representation of the various sounds or phonemes. Children need not know alphabets to be able to talk. Knowing alphabets is called literacy or reading ability and that is very different from speaking ability.

Thus the visual feedback system would rely on pictorial equivalents of phonemes to teach children how to speak. These pictorial equivalents should not be confused as a new type of codes. Once the child learns to speak, the pictorial symbols can be used to teach the child alphabet. And once the child can read and write, the pictorial symbols used in visual feedback system can be replaced by speech to text based system.

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Application for Speech training congenitally hearing impaired children and to assist deaf people to talk and undersand speech


1. System Description

If a child who does not start talking at right age is taken to a doctor, the first check is done for hearing capability. Only if the child can hear, doctors help, if the child can not hear, doctors say that they can not do much to help the child with speech. But as Human beings learnt language by themselves without hearing from anywhere unlike today where children are taught to speak by hearing, it is not necessary to be able to hear for a person to train vocal folds to produce sound.

People who can hear use sound as a feedback to learn speaking and to speak, similarly, people who are hearing impaired but can see, can use visual feedback to learn speaking and to speak and to see what others are speaking without really reading lip movements and other sign language. This visual feedback system can be built by using a computer or mobile application that can be voice trained to identify the speech and convert it to visual symbols. Visual symbols are being used as children get excited by visuals very easily .This keeps them addicted to video games, even adults go gaga over candycrush.

A speech and hearing enabled trainer can train a hearing impaired person to strain vocal folds and to see the outcome of the exercise in visual form. As part of speech training, animated video can also be used which shows the movement of vocal chords, tongue and lips for every single alphabet from the language. It will assist the hearing impaired person to utter sounds till one pattern matches the valid sounds and produces the required visual alphabet with a thumbs up. They can practice this again and again so as to perfect the alphabet. These steps can be listed as well:


1. The application is installed on a mobile device or a computer.

2. The parent or the trainer logs into the application for speech training the child.

3. The trainer utters some phonemes.

4. The application converts the audio to a pictorial symbol and displays on the screen.

5. An associated animated video also plays that shows a child moving to...