A survey of the perceived text adaptation needs of adults with autism
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AbstractNLP 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 usergenerated texts such as product reviews, which cannot be controlled editorially and are thus in a stronger need of automatic adaptation. To address this problem, we present a mixedmethods survey conducted with 24 adult webusers diagnosed with autism and an agematched control group of 33 neurotypical participants. The aim of the survey is to identify whether the group with autism experiences any barriers when reading online reviews, what these potential barriers are, 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, identifying the intention of the author, trustworthiness, and the use of irony, sarcasm and exaggeration.
CitationYaneva, V., Orasan, C., Ha, L. and Pnomareva, N. (2019) A survey of the perceived text adaptation needs of adults with autism, RANLP 2019, 2nd-4th September 2019, Varna, Bulgaria.
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