Second Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (SLPAT)

SLPAT2011 is an ACL EMNLP 2011 Workshop

30 July 2011
Informatics Forum,
University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Registration Information

Late participants can register on the website or at the workshop via the EMNLP REGISTRATION site.

Please note that this workshop is NOT restricted to presenting participants. Anyone interested in the application of NLP to assistive technologies is welcome to join us. We hope that, in addition to researchers, clinicians and developers will attend the workshop.


This 1-day workshop will bring together researchers from all areas of speech and language technology with a common interest in making everyday life more accessible for people with physical, cognitive, sensory, emotional or developmental disabilities. This workshop will build on the first such workshop (co-located with NAACL HLT 2010); it will provide an opportunity for individuals from both research communities, and the individuals with whom they are working, to assist to share research findings, and to discuss present and future challenges and the potential for collaboration and progress.

The worshop comprise a mix of Papers and Posters, demonstrations and a panel of people who use Assistive Technologies.


Accessibility describes the degree to which a product, device, service or environment is usable for as many people as possible, including persons with disabilities. This can be achieved either by designing products and services that are directly usable for all, that are adaptable to different users or that are compatible with special aids for persons with disabilities through standard interfaces.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technologies (AT) are umbrella terms for technologies and techniques aimed at aiding people with disabilities in interacting with their environment in order to communicate with others and to accomplish a variety of tasks. In particular, AAC is focused on multi-modal communication, including technologies for those who cannot rely on natural speech and/or writing as their primary means of expression. From providing access to web-based communication for individuals with severe motor impairments, to improving the intelligibility of output in speech generating devices, the range of AAC topics that could or should rely on speech and natural language processing (NLP) technologies is very large. Yet the number of individuals actively working within the two research communities (AT/AAC on the one hand and speech/NLP on the other) is relatively small.

The last few years has seen an increasing interest from the speech and language technology community to participate in this very interesting and important research area. One of the reasons for this interest is the increasing importance of the web, and the need to ensure that it is accessible to all users, including disabled people. There is also the change in demography in modern societies, with an increasing number of elderly people having difficulties in performing everyday tasks.

We believe that speech and language technology can play a very important role in making everyday life more accessible, and that this field has been neglected in the past, both from language technologists, and from other neighboring research areas. With this workshop we hope to emphasise the place of accessibility, assistive technology and AAC on the agenda for the speech and language technology community.

We are planning a short demo/exhibition session as part of this workshop.


While AAC is a particularly apt application area for speech and NLP technologies, we are purposefully making the scope of the workshop broad enough to include accessibility and assistive technologies as a whole. Topics that are appropriate for the workshop yet fall outside of the scope of AAC would include things such as spoken language or dialogue interfaces to assistive devices, or other related topics in Human Computer Interaction. While we will encourage work that validates the methods with human experimental trials, we will also consider work on basic-level innovations, inspired by AT/AAC related problems.

We welcome theories, models, techniques and evaluation studies from all areas of speech and language technology, tailored to accessibility, AAC and AT; including, but not limited to, the following:


Program Committee

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline: 13 May 2011 (passed)  
Demo proposal submission deadline: 23 May 2011 (passed)  
Notification of demo acceptance: 1 June 2011 (passed)  
Notification to authors: 17 June 2011 (passed) - see List of Accepted Papers  
Camera-ready paper version submission deadline: 1 July 2011 (passed)  
Registration deadline: 13 July 2011   
Workshop: 30 July 2011


Please send inquiries to

Last updated: 4 July 2011