Symbol-based dictionaries could provide persons with aphasia a resource for finding needed words, but they can detract from conversation. This research explores the potential of head-worn displays (HWDs) to provide glanceable vocabulary support that is unobtrusive and always-available. Two formative studies explored the benefits and challenges of using a HWD, and evaluated a proof-of-concept prototype in both lab and field settings. These studies showed that a HWD may allow wearers to maintain focus on the conversation, reduce reliance on external support (e.g., paper and pen, or people), and minimize the visibility of support by others. A third study compared use of a HWD to a smartphone, and found preliminary evidence that the HWD may offer a better overall experience with assistive vocabulary and may better support the wearer in advancing through conversation. These studies should motivate further investigation of head-worn conversational support.

Full Thesis:
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Thesis Advisor:
Leah Findlater

Award Date:
August 14, 2015

University of Maryland
College Park

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