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Human-Computer Interaction Design


"Exploring the Accessibility of Second Life for people with Aphasia"

Staff and Funding

Collaborating Organisations: Centre for HCI Design, Dept of Language and Communication Science
Principal investigator: Stephanie Wilson
Research Staff: Julia Galliers
Total funding: £5,000
Funding source: City University
Duration: 9 months (February 2012 - October 2012)

Project Description

Aphasia is a language disorder most commonly caused by a stroke. People with aphasia have difficulty with all aspects of language: speaking, reading, writing and understanding, which can lead to isolation and social exclusion. 

This project will explore the potential of the online virtual world, Second Life, as an arena for people with aphasia to engage in social interaction. One part of the research will investigate the access demands of Second Life and how to reduce these for people with aphasia.The second part of the project will explore the nature of Second Life interactions, which are often rather unnatural conversations, to discover their potential for people with language difficulties. Two people with aphasia will be employed as consultants on the project.

The EASE project has two overall aims:

  1. To conduct an exploratory study into the accessibility of the virtual world, Second Life, for people with aphasia. In particular, to explore the nature of interactions in Second Life with respect to how people with aphasia might manage such interactions
  2. To enhance opportunities for further, inter-disciplinary collaborative research between the Department of Language and Communication Sciences (LCS) and the Centre for HCI Design (HCID).