Reading behaviors and text-to-speech technology perceptions of people with aphasia
People with aphasia often have reading impairments that affect participation in daily activities. Text-to-speech (TTS) devices are technology-based supports that can facilitate processing of written materials. The purpose of this study was to gather information about the reading behaviors and TTS technology perceptions of people with aphasia who had first learned about system features and options. Sixteen people with chronic aphasia participated in single, one-on-one instructional and guided practice sessions using TTS systems. They answered close-ended questions about current reading behaviors and materials and ways they believed these would change given TTS system access. Participants reported reading at home and community locations. Most read calendars, newspapers, magazines, and mail. Participants who did not read lengthy materials - such as newspapers, magazines, and novels - indicated their interest in these materials would likely increase given TTS support. Although participants did not predict substantial comprehension changes given TTS support, most expressed interest in the technology after learning about it. Thus, people with aphasia perceive TTS systems as helpful for comprehending lengthy materials. Given modest predictions about comprehension benefits, presenting TTS as one of several support strategies is an appropriate recommendation.