Computer Usage by Children with Down Syndrome: Challenges and Future Research
"Children with Down syndrome, like neurotypical children, are growing up with extensive exposure to computer technology...Our understanding of computer usage by this population is quite limited. Most of the software, games, and Web sites that children with Down syndrome interact with are designed without consideration of their special needs, making the applications less effective or completely inaccessible. We conducted a large-scale survey that collected computer usage information from the parents of approximately six hundred children with Down syndrome. This article reports the text responses collected in the survey and is intended as a step towards understanding the difficulties children with Down syndrome experience while using computers. The relationship between the age and the specific type of difficulties, as well as related design challenges are also reported. A number of potential research directions and hypotheses are identified for future studies. Due to limitations in survey methodology, the findings need to be further validated through hypothesis-driven, empirical studies."
Messenger visual: a pictogram-based IM service to improve communications among disabled people
"This paper presents a pictogram-based instant messaging service that intends to bridge the social and digital gap of people with cognitive impairments. By means of using pictograms as the communication language and by tailoring down the interface to suit pictogram-based communication requirements, the service allows users to exchange real-time messages across the Internet to communicate with their relatives and acquaintances. Through our initial evaluation procedure with a group of eleven users with different types and degrees of cognitive impairments we show that a pictogram-based instant messaging service has a great potential to improve their communicative capabilities, as well as to enable their personal and social development."
ICF Core Set for Matching Older Adults with Dementia and Technology
"The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) consists of 34 codes per person at the one digit level and, at more detailed levels, the number of codes can reach 1,424 items. This degree of complexity has led research groups to develop core sets of ICF codes for specific health conditions and disabilities. The ICF core sets typically include the least number of domains to be practical, but as many as required to sufficiently characterize a specific condition. The purpose of this article is to present an ICF core set addressed to older adults with dementia in the process of receiving Assistive Technology (AT) for their functioning and well-being. The ICF Core Set development involved a formal decision-making and consensus process, integrating evidence gathered from preliminary studies that included focus groups of health professionals, a systematic review of the literature, and empirical data collected from patients and caregivers. In the ICF core set for older adults with dementia in an AT selection process, the body functions and structures codes are decreased but those related to activities and participation and personal and environmental factors are increased. To further achieve a biopsychosocial and user-driven Core Set that can be applied internationally, ICF categories have been supplemented with items in a measure of AT predisposition and use that is used in many countries. The combination is named the ICF core set for Matching Older Adult with Dementia and Technology (MOADT)."
Improving Web Access for Individuals who Rely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication
"People with significant speech and motor disabilities often face obstacles attempting to navigate the World Wide Web. This is especially true for the millions of children and adults worldwide who rely on or could benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). This study was designed to test the usability of WebAACcess, an accessibility enhancement tool designed to bypass some of the barriers to navigating the web. Using a repeated-measures research design, whereby subjects were their own controls, each of the 12 participants (7 with motor disabilities who used AAC and 5 peers without disabilities) navigated equivalent web pages using Internet Explorer alone and Internet Explorer with WebAACcess. Results consistently demonstrated that navigating using WebAACess with Internet Explorer was more efficient, easier, and equally effective for all of the participants than navigating with Internet Explorer alone."
Autonomamente project - design, implementation and evaluation of a multimodal domotic application to support persons with cognitive disabilities
"The AutonomaMente project developed a highly customizable application based on multimodal communication (speech, icons, text) to support autonomous living of persons with cognitive disabilities in special apartments fitted with domotic sensors. Its functionalities are designed to support everyday social activities of the users: using the telephone in a simple way, schedule appointments, keep track of time and organize personal finances and savings. A second evaluation is in progress in order to understand strong and weak points of both software and approach used to train users and caregivers. The aim of this paper is to expose the approach used and the solutions implemented to support people with cognitive disabilities while facing some difficulties deriving from their impairments (like, for instance, reading/writing difficulties, sequencing problems and long/short term memory impairments)."
Designing Educational Games for Children with Specific Learning Difficulties: Insights from Involving Children and Practitioners
"Children with dyslexia and attention deficit disorders often have problems in short term memory, yet can benefit from learning strategies for remembering. In this paper, we describe the design of a multimedia educational game called Memory Challenge to help children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) learn strategies for memory and to develop their cognitive skills. We focus in our approach on the involvement of children with SpLDs and domain specialists and practitioners in the design process. Involving various participants from our target population (native Arabic-speaking users) in different stages of our design process was effective in obtaining an insight into the needs of people with SpLDs and has contributed to the design with actionable implications."
Easy-to-use social network service
"a project was started, aiming to create an easy-touse social network service for ..." "... people with learning disabilities or cognitive impairments ..." "... by applying user centered design methods. This paper explains the rationale for starting the project and also describes the some of the implementation methods used."
Towards Cognitively Accessible Web Pages
"A number of specific universal design principles are derived from a variety of cognitive disabilities ...". "The principles have been implemented and evaluated by means of personas testing with results showing that a much more universally accessible solution of a login mechanism to a web service could be achieved as compared to today's solution."
Easy-to-use social network service
Describes a project "... aiming to create an easy-to-use social network service ..." "... for people with learning disabilities or cognitive impairments ...".
Supporting the web experience of young people with learning disabilities
"The paper describes a test setup to survey the needs of young people with learning disabilities with regard to additional functions that could support their use of the web."
Easyweb - a study how people with specific learning difficulties can be supported on using the internet
"Although having based on heuristic experiences the study represents a deep investigation concerning Easy-to-Read principles for print and online materials and what is more represented a signal for ongoing ambitious efforts to involve people with specific learning difficulties to all areas of life."
Cognitive Web Accessibility: Research 2010
Published in 2010, these resources are original studies, literature reviews and related articles that cite references.
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