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.

Current Topics

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

We are going to ISAAC 2018

Our research group will be presenting their work at this years conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Find out all about it on our special ISAAC page: aac.dundee.ac.uk/isaac2018/

Lost Voice Guy performs during EISF ’18

Lee Ridley, AKA Lost Voice Guy, and winner of this year Britain’s Got Talent programme (watch the revealing of the winner on Youtube) can’t talk but isn’t silent. One of the UK’s first stand-up comedians to use speech synthesis technology, for one night only Lee will be performing his laugh out loud comedy during the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) in the National Museum of Scotland (NMS) in Edinburgh.

Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy
Lost Voice Guy

The event is part of the EPSRC Telling Tales of Engagement project “More than just Computer Speech – giving People a Voice to tell their Story”, highlighting the impact of our research in AAC.

More information and tickets on the EISF website: sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/lost-voice-guy

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.

At least two fully funded MSc in AAC places available for the academic year 2018/9 through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The funding is currently advertised on the following website: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/study/pg/scholarships-fees/sfc-funding-programmes/.

For more information on the AAC MSc please visit the Postgraduate Courses information website at Psychology, School of Social Sciences.

In Our Own Words: A Film by our Aphasia iPad Group

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.

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


There are a number of special user groups associated with the Dundee AAC Group. These user groups work with DAAC in research and teaching.

Tap and Talk Aphasia iPad Group

Tap and Talk LogoThe Tap and Talk Aphasia iPad Group was established by members of the local Speakeasy group together with the Speech and Language Therapy adult service of the NHS Tayside to help adults with aphasia in using an iPad to support their communication. Find out more on our project page: aac.dundee.ac.uk/tap-and-talk

Straight Talking Group (STG)

STG LogoThe Straight Talking Group is a user group of adults with complex disabilities who use a range of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Learn more, and meet the team, on our Straight Talking Group page: aac.dundee.ac.uk/stg