Dundee AAC Research Group

AAC Group LogoThe Dundee University‘s AAC Research Group at Computing in the School of Science and Engineering is the world leader in developing intelligent and multimodal technologies within the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), working with the foremost companies in the field to support and enhance interaction for individuals with a variety of communication impairments across the lifespan. The Dundee AAC Research Group is at the heart of this work, involving the end users of software in the design and development. The group always welcome inquiries about new PhD projects, please get in touch with Professor Annalu Waller.

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Current Topics

A selection taken from our research, teaching and consultancy and other news.

MSc in Design for Healthcare & Assistive Technologies

This course teaches how biomedical engineering principles can be applied to ground-breaking assistive technology equipment, software and systems. It is delivered by Biomedical Engineering and the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) research group at the School of Science and Engineering.  You will gain understanding of living systems and how to design computing-based devices and new technologies through learning about biomedical measurement systems, human anatomy, physiology and medical instrumentations. The course is underpinned by our international reputation in cutting-edge areas of research in the development of AAC devices. You will learn to design and build prototypes for user interfaces, interaction and experiences through practical tasks and be taught how to create a critical evaluation of research literature.

More information at the University website:

MSc in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Students and AAC users(DAAC Teaching) Psychology at the School of Social Sciences and Computing at the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee are leading this MSc course which was established in 2013. The aims of this interdisciplinary course are to provide individuals with a psychology, computing, industry or clinical care background with a better understanding of the latest developments in:

  • The psychology of the development of language and communication;
  • The design ethnography of AAC solutions;
  • The engineering of AAC solutions;
  • The effective evaluation of AAC solutions on an individual and group basis. However, the over-arching aim of the course is to provide individuals with sufficient research training to allow them to become effective scientist-practitioners.

Follow the link for more information on the AAC MSc: dundee.ac.uk/psychology/study/masters/mscaac/

In Our Own Words: A Film by our Aphasia iPad Group, shortlisted in Top 10 at ISAAC 2018

Tap and TalkiPad for animation, the Aphasia iPad Group within the User Centre at Computing has been creating a short animation film about their experiences with Aphasia. With funding and support from the Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust THAT and the local artist and animation film maker Andrew Low the group has been animating plasticine figures cardboard cutouts and even tomato alphabet soup.

Aphasia - Telling our Stories, film title

The result is tow short films about aphasia: A one minute information clip that can be showed on an iPad, iPhone or similar tablet to inform conversation partners about aphasia. A longer 6 minute film presents portraits of the group members together with their animated films for a more in depth impression of aphasia. The project was document by film maker Steve Soave.

Both films, “I have Aphasia” and “Aphasia – In our own Words“, were shortlisted in the Top 10 films as best two films at this year’s ISAAC 2018 Short Film Festival.

“I have Aphasia” can be download for free as an iOS app for iPad or iPhone as a handy tool to introduce yourself and your disability in 90 seconds to a new communication partner. Follow this link to the App Store: aphasia.dogfish.tech.

More information and links to the films on the project website: aac.dundee.ac.uk/tap-and-talk

Featured Research Project

ACE-LP Logo(DAAC Research) ACE-LP, Augmenting Communication using Environmental Data to drive Language Prediction, brings together research expertise in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Computer Vision & Image Processing at the University of Dundee with Intelligent Interactive Systems at the University of Cambridge.

A person using AAC in conversation with a volunteer

ACE-LP has a number of partners including Capability Scotland and Scope, the two leading charities for people with complex disabilities in the UK, and the ENT at Ninewells Hospital, NHS Tayside.

Industry partners include two of the world leading developers of VOCAs, Smartbox Assistive Technology and TobiiDynavox, as well as Arria NLG Ltd, the market leader in real-time data storytelling, and Edesix Ltd, a leading provider of advanced Body Worn Camera Solutions, based in Edinburgh.

The Universities will also work with National Museums Scotland and the leading UK charity Communication Matters to ensure that the results of the research are communicated beyond the science communities into clinical work and mainstream knowledge.

This research project is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

More information on the project website: ACE-LP.ac.uk