Reading comprehension is a key skill in almost all types of tasks related to the information society or labour inclusion. The question of whether a text is easy to read and understand depends very much on the abilities and experience of the reader. There exists some measures that can be applied to quantify legibility of a text (number of syllables per phrase, number of words per phrase, Flesch-Szigriszt index, etc) but the ability of the final reader is what ensures the transmission of information. It is possible, considering the profile of the IDD readers, to write a text that will suit the abilities of most people with literacy and comprehension problems.

Manual simplification of texts is possible, but is expensive and time consuming. This is not a suitable approach for the treatment of real-time user generated content. This kind of content cannot wait until a process of manual simplification is carried out on it. This is why an automatic simplification of real-time user generated content becomes necessary if we want people with language comprehension problems accessing this content.

ASI and UPF partners have developed a text-simplification technology called Simplext. This system is able to:

  • Implement an adaptable and personalised text simplification system that can simplify documents, web pages and web 2.0 content-based on the Simplext methodology.
  • Provide built-in easy-reading accessibility and auto-personalization mechanisms in any kind of text (PDF, .doc. html) in the computer, tablet or smart phone (web pages, social networks such as Facebook and apps).
  • Integrate and deploy the simplification algorithms as a ubiquitous assistive technology, which “follows” the user in any web social application and from any user device.

Simplext has created a set of language resources and natural language processing tools in Spanish for the development of an automated simplification system.