[Elsnet-list] Call for Chapters

John Wesley Mullennix mullenni+ at pitt.edu
Wed Sep 10 15:22:56 CEST 2008


I am in the process of putting a book together with my colleague Steven 
Stern called: Computer Synthesized Speech Technologies: Tools for Aiding 
Impairment. As such, we are inviting people to contribute their 
expertise to our forthcoming book in the form of a chapter. We are 
attempting to contact people who have research interests on the use of 
CSS (computer synthesized speech) technology to aid speech impairments, 
but besides people from academic institutions we are open to people who 
are practitioners who could write a chapter based on a case study of 
using CSS for a person with a particular disorder. Examples of some 
disorders with speech impairments are autistic spectrum disorders, ALS, 
brain/spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, etc. We are also 
interested in chapters that deal with the special problems children and 
the elderly may have with computerized speech aids.

The procedure that we are following is that we are first soliciting 
short proposals for chapters. We will review these proposals and then 
approve those which are appropriate. Hence, all proposals may not be 

The formal complete call for chapters follows. Please feel free to 
forward this posting to anyone you wish. Thanks!

Proposal Submission Deadline: October 30, 2008
Computer Synthesized Speech Technologies: Tools for Aiding Impairment
A book edited by Dr. John W. Mullennix and Dr. Steven E. Stern
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, USA


The term "Computer Synthesized Speech," or CSS, refers to speech that is 
generated by computer. CSS is often embedded into what are called 
Text-to-Speech (TTS) systems, where the user inputs text through a 
keyboard and then an output device creates the audible speech. CSS is a 
valuable assistive technology for the speaking-disabled and the 
There are various disorders that cause speech impairment, with the 
speech impaired user's condition a determining factor affecting the 
implementation of CSS. We are looking for several authors to write 
chapters on the particular difficulties present when using CSS to assist 
with different types of disorders—ranging from congenital disorders to 
sudden onset conditions, and including autism, a condition of growing 
prevalence for which CSS may offer new avenues of treatment.

The successful implementation of a CSS system is also affected by the 
quality of the voice. Some CSS systems are more intelligible, natural 
sounding, and comprehensible than others. There is also evidence that 
listening to synthetic speech puts a cognitive and attentional strain on 
the listener. We are soliciting authors to write chapters examining 
these important issues.
Those who work with speech disabled users of CSS need to understand how 
the combination of disability and the technology leads to potential 
stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. We are looking for authors 
who can examine how people relate to the users of synthesized speech, 
frequently stereotyping them, and potentially discriminating against 
them. In addition, we would like to include chapters that specifically 
address how organizations can successfully employ the speaking disabled 
within the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Objective of the Book

This book will cover a variety of areas pertinent to understanding the 
myriad of concerns in the implementation of computer synthesized speech 
for practitioners working with speech disabled populations. It is our 
objective to simultaneously ground this work in current theory and 
research. Each chapter will be geared toward providing information that 
practitioners should know, or even better, can use. Objectives of the 
book include providing practitioners and future practitioners with 
information that will allow them to better assist the speech disabled 
who wish to utilize this technology; providing an overview of CSS 
technology, its history, and its future potential; examining various 
speech-related disorders and impairments and how CSS is used in these 
cases as a speaking prosthesis for the speech disabled; assessing how 
spoken communication between people (i.e., between a normal speaker and 
a speech disabled person) is affected by our ability to perceive and 
comprehend speech produced by a CSS system; and understanding how 
society and organizations view and interact with speech disabled 
individuals using CSS.

Target Audience

This book is oriented towards educators, students, and practitioners in 
the areas of Psychology, Communication Disorders, Speech Pathology, 
Computer Science, Rehabilitation Sciences, Social Work, Gerontology, 
Nursing, Special Education and any other discipline where the use of CSS 
is applicable. The book's primary emphasis is on providing information 
based on scholarly and clinical work that will assist both clinical 
practitioners and future practitioners in making informed decisions 
about applications of synthetic speech with the speech disabled.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Current State of CSS Technology
• History of the Technology
• Interfaces for using CSS
• Future Trends in CSS and Input/Output Devices
• Use of CSS in Developmental Disorders such as Autism
• Use of CSS in Degenerative Disorders such as ALS
• Use of CSS in Congenital Disorders such as Cerebral Palsy
• Use of CSS with Central Nervous System Traumatic Disorders such as 
Stroke, TBI and
Spinal Cord Injury
• Use of CSS with Children, The Elderly, and Other Special Populations
• Case Studies of using CSS with Speech Impaired Populations
• Evaluation of Intelligibility and Naturalness of CSS
• Memory and Attention Factors in Listening to CSS
• Limiting Factors in Speech Articulation and Expression Using CSS
• Persuasiveness of CSS Compared to Natural Speech
• Stereotyping of CSS Speech Disabled Users
• Considerations of ADA Compliance
• Using CSS in the Workplace

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before October 
30, 2008 a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and 
concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals 
will be notified by November 15, 2008 about the status of their 
proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters of 7,000-9,000 
words are expected to be submitted by February 15, 2009. All submitted 
chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. This book is 
scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), 
publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group 
Reference) and “Medical Information Science Reference” imprints. For 
additional information regarding the publisher, please visit 

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word 
document) or by mail to:

Dr. John W. Mullennix
Department of Psychology
Tel.: (814) 269-7293 Fax: (814) 269-2022
E-mail: mullenni at pitt.edu

John W. Mullennix, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Johnstown, PA  15904
Office:(814) 269-7293
FAX:   (814) 269-2022
mullenni at pitt.edu

"Beware the terrible simplifiers."

                    — Jacob Burckhardt, historian

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