Methodology

Each element of the project will be developed within a ’work package’ to be completed by one or more of the project partners.

 

The ‘Work packages’

Diagram of the relationship between the work packages

 

Work package 1: Project management

The management of this software development project involves implementing all technical, financial, and administrative aspects of the project and communicating with the European Commission.

Work package leader:

Prof. Ruslan Mitkov
University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Email: contact(at)first-asd.eu 

 

Work package 2: User requirements

The work in this package is the foundation on which the whole project will be based. It will include:

  • Identifying the needs of the target audience for the software (people with autism) via research and consultation with end users and professionals;
  • Prioritising the various obstacles to reading comprehension that are experienced by people with autism;
  • Determining parameter settings for end users with different levels of reading comprehension;
  • Determining the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of the user interface and the simplified personalised documents that the software will create.

Work package leader:

Juan Martos
Deletrea, Spain
Email: jmartos(at)cop.es 

 

Work package 3: Processing structural complexity

This work package will create subsystems of the software that process the vocabulary and grammar of input documents in order to create more accessible versions. This will involve:

  • Developing a syntactic (grammar) processor that will identify sentences that are complex and replace them with less complex versions;
  • Developing a lexical (vocabulary) processor that will identify words that are too complicated and replace them with simpler words;
  • Developing a subsystem that will enable users to revise their individual parameter settings regarding the complexity of words and sentences.

Work package leader:

Richard Evans
University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Email: contact(at)first-asd.eu 

 

Work package 4: Processing ambiguity in meaning

The goal of this work package is to develop subsystems of the software that process the vocabulary of input documents in order to create more accessible versions. This will involve:

  • Developing a subsystem that will identify words and expressions that are ambiguous, non-literal, co-referential, rare and specialised, and replace them with less ambiguous terms and or provide definitions and images to aid understanding;
  • Developing a subsystem that will enable users to revise their individual parameter settings regarding the words and expressions that are ambiguous, non-literal, co-referential, rare and specialised.

Work package leader:

Dr Paloma Moreda
Universidad de Alicante, Spain
Email: moreda(at)dlsi.ua.es 

 

Work package 5: Generation of personalised documents

This work package will create a subsystem of the software that creates personalised documents for end-users. This will include:

  • Developing processes to segment the text into subtopics, place relevant images close to the text, provide interactive tables of contents and summaries;
  • Generating pre-reading questions that aim to activate background knowledge on the relevant topic in the mind of the end user to assist them to put the information into context;
  • Ensuring that the personalised documents meet the criteria for accessibility defined by the Web Accessibility Initiative.

Work package leader:

Prof. L. Alfonso Ureňa
Universidad de Jaen, Spain
Email: laurena(at)ujaen.es 

 

Work package 6: System architecture and software integration

This work package will integrate the subsystems for processing structural complexity, processing ambiguity and generating personalised documents into a functional software program. This will include:

  • Designing and implementing all the levels of functionality required for the program;
  • Developing a graphical user interface;
  • Ensuring that the overall software program meets the needs of people with autism as defined in Work Package 1: User requirements.

Work package leader:

Pranay Puri
iWeb, United Kingdom
Email: pranay.puri(at)iwebtech.co.uk

 

Work package 7: Testing and evaluation

This work package aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the software in making documents and text more accessible to people with autism and increasing their social inclusion. This will include:

  • Using standard quantitative methodologies to test the software, comparing texts converted by the software program with manually simplified texts (in English, Spanish and Bulgarian);
  • Reading comprehension testing with people who have autism under clinical conditions (in England, Spain and Bulgaria) using original and converted versions of the texts;
  • Survey of carers of people with autism (both professional and non-professional) who have been trained in how to use the software (in England, Spain and Bulgaria);
  • In-depth interviews and focus groups for people with autism and their carers (in England, Spain and Bulgaria) to evaluate their perceptions of whether the software is increasing their level of social inclusion;
  • Results of testing and evaluation will be used to improve the design of the final version of the software program.

Work package leader:

Dr Vesna Jordanova
Central and North West London National Health Foundation Trust
Email: v.jordanova(at)imperial.ac.uk 

 

Work package 8: Dissemination

This work package will inform relevant audiences about the project and the software program that will be created. This will include:

  • Publishing information and promotional materials about the project and software, including a website, mailing list, social media content and academic journal publications;
  • Distributing demonstration versions of the software to relevant audiences;
  • Organising and participating in events and activities to promote the project and software;
  • Participating in ‘clustering’ activities to collaborate with other relevant European research projects.

Work package leader:

Aurélie Baranger
Autism-Europe
Email: aurelie.baranger(at)autismeurope.org

 

Work package 9: Exploitation

This work package will create a plan to commercialise the software. This will involve:

  • Identifying target markets for the commercial product;
  • Costing plan for adaptation of the software prototype into a commercial product;
  • Costing plan and licensing agreement for commercial subscriptions to the software;
  • Creating agreements between project partners regarding ongoing use, management and maintenance of the commercial software;
  • Identifying additional uses / possible modifications for the software and target markets for these.

Work package leader:

Asen Rahnev
Kodar Ltd, Bulgaria
Email: arahnev(at)kodar.net