A Survey of the Perceived Text Adaptation Needs of Adults with Autism

Victoria Yaneva, Constantin Orasan, Le An Ha, Natalia Ponomareva


Abstract
NLP approaches to automatic text adaptation often rely on user-need guidelines which are generic and do not account for the differences between various types of target groups. One such group are adults with high-functioning autism, who are usually able to read long sentences and comprehend difficult words but whose comprehension may be impeded by other linguistic constructions. This is especially challenging for real-world user-generated texts such as product reviews, which cannot be controlled editorially and are thus a particularly good applcation for automatic text adaptation systems. In this paper we present a mixed-methods survey conducted with 24 adult web-users diagnosed with autism and an age-matched control group of 33 neurotypical participants. The aim of the survey was to identify whether the group with autism experienced any barriers when reading online reviews, what these potential barriers were, and what NLP methods would be best suited to improve the accessibility of online reviews for people with autism. The group with autism consistently reported significantly greater difficulties with understanding online product reviews compared to the control group and identified issues related to text length, poor topic organisation, and the use of irony and sarcasm.
Anthology ID:
R19-1155
Volume:
Proceedings of the International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2019)
Month:
September
Year:
2019
Address:
Varna, Bulgaria
Venue:
RANLP
SIG:
Publisher:
INCOMA Ltd.
Note:
Pages:
1356–1363
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/R19-1155
DOI:
10.26615/978-954-452-056-4_155
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/R19-1155.pdf