Using Natural Language Processing to Assist the Visually Handicapped in Writing Compositions

  • Jacques Chelin
  • Leila Kosseim
  • T. Radhakrishnan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4013)


Over the last decades, more and more visually handicapped students have attempted post-secondary studies. This situation has created many new challenges. One of them is the need to study text and electronic documents in depth and in a reasonable time. Blind students cannot flip through the pages of a book, skim through the text or use a highlighter. In this paper, we propose a solution in the form of an experimental prototype and show how natural language processing techniques can profitably assist blind students in meeting their academic objectives. The techniques used include the automatic creation of indices, passage retrieval and the use of WordNet for query rewriting. The paper presents a technology application of a practically usable software.

The system was evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. The evaluation is very encouraging and supports further investigation.


Visually Handicap Natural Language Processing Technique Query Reformulation Passage Retrieval Regular Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Chelin
    • 1
  • Leila Kosseim
    • 1
  • T. Radhakrishnan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Software EngineeringConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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