All posts by Rolf Black

EPSRC’s Digital Economy 10 Year Showcase

Annalu, Kathleen and Rolf went to London for EPSRC’s Digital Economy Theme 10 Year Showcase. The Dundee team was chosen as one of 10 research projects funded through the theme to exhibit their activities at the BT Tower event in London.

EPSRC is celebrating the success of their Digital Economy Theme since its launch event 10 years ago in 2009, where Rolf and Annalu exhibited their “How was School today…?” project. More recently, Rolf and Annalu won a £10k EPSRC Public Engagement grant and for this year’s BT Tower event they showcased the “Painting with your eyes” workstation (here with John Baird, Head of RCUK’s Digital Economy Programme at EPSRC).

Human Communication – a CATCH research theme special event, 22 January 2019

Annalu is sharing our research at CATCH in Sheffield today (from the blog by Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Group (RAT Group), the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) and the Telehealth and Care Technologies theme of CLAHRC YH):

“On 22 January 2019 CATCH is hosting a special day of events focusing on our work in one of our research themes, human communication.

Our research in this area brings together colleagues from many disciplines, such as computer science and human communication sciences in the university. We also work closely with colleagues in the NHS including speech and language therapists and clinical scientists.

The event, hosted by Dr Heidi Christensen and Dr Stuart Cunnigham, will feature talks from Rebecca Bright, one of the founders of TherapyBox, and Professor Annalu Waller, Chair of Human Communication Technologies at the University of Dundee. There will also be an opportunity for PhD students to give short talks.”

Recognition for Rolf Black’s Public Engagement with Aphasia

Researcher and project lead Rolf Black was commended for his work with the Tap & Talk Aphasia iPad Group and their iOS App “I have Aphasia” at this year’s Stephen Fry Engaged Researcher of the Year Awards.

Jon Urch, Chair of the selection panel: “The selection panel were extremely impressed by the impact that Rolf’s work is having in the aphasia community in Scotland and the UK. The positive impact Rolf and his work has on the lives of aphasia sufferers, especially their increase in self-confidence shone through in his presentation.

“The panel also noted Rolf’s passionate and creative leadership in his field, built on the strong relationships with members of the Aphasia iPad group. They were impressed with the reflection and growth demonstrated in the application and the future plans outlined within.”

Lost Voice Guy wins Britain’s Got Talent TV show

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 was 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 was 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.

AAC at the Museum

The National Museum of Scotland featured a day of AAC at the beginning of the year with activities for all ages. The great hall in Edinburgh’s beautiful museum treasure was packed with opportunities to find out about how to create and use synthetic speech, how to paint using your eyes or even use your toes to chat like the famous Prof Stephen Hawking!

A girl tries switch scanning using her toe to access an iPad with a communication app.
Switch scanning with your toe.

Find out more in our article about the day in the April ’18 CSWN Newsletter. Free to download for the ISAAC website: isaac-online.org/english/news/cswn-newsletter/

Lee Ridley at the NMS

Lee Ridley is coming to Edinburgh’s National Museums Scotland as part of our EPSRC Telling Tales of Engagement project. Extremely funny, he uses an iPad communication aid to deliver his performance. Make sure you don’t miss it and take a look at all the other brilliant events during the Edinburgh International Science Festival!

“Join Lost Voice Guy, Lee Ridley stand-up comedian at the Edinburgh International Science Show at National Museum of Scotland on Thursday 12 April.

Lee Ridley, AKA Lost Voice Guy, can’t talk but isn’t silent. One of the UK’s first stand up comedians using speech synthesis technology, for one night only Lee will perform his laugh out loud comedy set as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Book now! https://www.nms.ac.uk/lostvoiceguy

We’ve lost a great physicist…

… and great ambassador for AAC. This morning, Stephen Hawking, the world renowned physicist died at the age of 76.

Listen to his interview on the BBC Desert Island Discs from 1992:

Sue Lawley with Stephen Hawking on DID
Stephen Hawking on Desert Island Discs, BBC, 1992

(might be only accessible when accessed from the UK)