One the worst things about being severely disabled is the difficulty with communication. Conventional communication prosthesis systems are either too slow (essentially one-button keyboards) or too restrictive (limited to a small, fixed vocabulary). In the early 1980’s, Tom built a system that could use knowledge of the domain of discourse of a person to help dynamically suggest menu choices so the one-button input could produce useful output in a reasonable time. It had a knowledge base of things that a user might want to say, and grammers, so it could predict the most likely words and phrases. In other words, it was a very early form of semantic autocomplete.
The work was written up as the a thesis: M.S. of Computer and Information Science at University of Massachusetts. Original title included the name SpeakEasy.