Original Research

Listeners' attitudes: Speech Supplementation Strategies for Improving Effectiveness of Speakers with Mixed Dysarthria as a result of Motor Neuron Disease

Natalie Toy, Karin Joubert
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 55, No 1 | a770 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v55i1.770 | © 2020 Natalie Toy, Karin Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 April 2020 | Published: 31 December 2008

About the author(s)

Natalie Toy, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Karin Joubert, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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This study examined unfamiliar and familiar listener attitudes towards the use of combined alphabet-topic cues and a control condition (habitual speech with no cues) associated with the speech of three individuals with severe mixed dysarthria. Two listener groups (N=36) were shown experimentally imposed visual images of the combined alphabet-topic cue strategy in conjunction with recorded auditory presentations with the habitual speech of three individuals with mixed dysarthria. Using a 7-point Likert scale, listeners were asked to rate how effective they thought the speakers communicated; how comfortable they were communicating with the speakers; and how persistent they were in trying to understand the speakers. The results revealed that there were no significant differences in the attitude ratings of familiar listeners as compared to unfamiliar listeners. However, results revealed that rating of communicative effectiveness, comfort communicating with speakers and listener persistence were each more favourable when using the combined cue condition than purely habitual speech. The results suggest that augmentative and alternative communication strategies providing frequent and specific cues regarding the content and constituent words of a message may enhance the attitudes of listeners.


Dysarthria; intelligibility; listener attitudes; speech supplementation; augmentative and alternative communication


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