Claire O’Neill


AAC don Ghaeilge: the Prototype Development of Speech-Generating Assistive Technology for Irish
Emily Barnes | Oisín Morrin | Ailbhe Ní Chasaide | Julia Cummins | Harald Berthelsen | Andy Murphy | Muireann Nic Corcráin | Claire O’Neill | Christer Gobl | Neasa Ní Chiaráin
Proceedings of the 4th Celtic Language Technology Workshop within LREC2022

This paper describes the prototype development of an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) system for the Irish language. This system allows users to communicate using the ABAIR synthetic voices, by selecting a series of words or images. Similar systems are widely available in English and are often used by autistic people, as well as by people with Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A dual-pronged approach to development has been adopted: this involves (i) the initial short-term prototype development that targets the immediate needs of specific users, as well as considerations for (ii) the longer term development of a bilingual AAC system which will suit a broader range of users with varying linguistic backgrounds, age ranges and needs. This paper described the design considerations and the implementation steps in the current system. Given the substantial differences in linguistic structures in Irish and English, the development of a bilingual system raises many research questions and avenues for future development.