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Evaluating a Speech Communication System for deaf people

E.T.S.I. Telecomunicación (UPM)
Publication Date
  • Telecomunicaciones
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science


This paper describes the development of an Advanced Speech Communication System for Deaf People and its field evaluation in a real application domain: the renewal of Driver’s License. The system is composed of two modules. The first one is a Spanish into Spanish Sign Language (LSE: Lengua de Signos Española) translation module made up of a speech recognizer, a natural language translator (for converting a word sequence into a sequence of signs), and a 3D avatar animation module (for playing back the signs). The second module is a Spoken Spanish generator from sign-writing composed of a visual interface (for specifying a sequence of signs), a language translator (for generating the sequence of words in Spanish), and finally, a text to speech converter. For language translation, the system integrates three technologies: an example-based strategy, a rule-based translation method and a statistical translator. This paper also includes a detailed description of the evaluation carried out in the Local Traffic Office in the city of Toledo (Spain) involving real government employees and deaf people. This evaluation includes objective measurements from the system and subjective information from questionnaires. Finally, the paper reports an analysis of the main problems and a discussion about possible solutions.

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