An integrated e-learning system for MID and MLD children in Qatar
"Children with Moderate Intellectual Disability (MID) and those with Moderate Learning Disability (MLD) are growing up with extensive exposure to computer technology. Computers and computer-related devices have the potential to help these children in education, career development, and independent living. However, most of the software, games, and web sites that MID and MLD children interact with are designed without consideration of their special needs, making the applications less effective or completely inaccessible. This paper proposes a fully accessible integrated e-learning system for MID and MLD children in Qatar state with the aim of enhancing children learning capabilities, understanding, communications, thinking and memorization skills."
Optimising web site designs for people with learning disabilities
"Much relevant internet-mediated information is inaccessible to people with learning disabilities because of difficulties in navigating the web. This paper reports on the methods undertaken to determine how information can be optimally presented for this cohort. Qualitative work is outlined where attributes relating to site layout affecting usability were elicited. A study comparing web sites of different design layouts exhibiting these attributes is discussed, with the emphasis on methodology. Eight interfaces were compared using various combinations of menu position (vertical or horizontal), text size and the absence or presence of images to determine which attributes of a site have the greatest performance impact. Study participants were also asked for their preferences, via a ‘smiley-face’ rating scale and simple interviews. ‘Acquiescence bias’ was minimised by avoiding polar (‘yes/no’) interrogatives, achieved by asking participants to compare layouts (such as horizontal versus vertical menu), with reasons coaxed from those able to articulate them. Preferred designs were for large text and images. This was the reverse of those facilitating fastest retrieval times, a discrepancy due to preferences being judged on aesthetic considerations. Design recommendations that reconcile preference and performance findings are offered. These include using a horizontal menu, juxtaposing images and text, and reducing text from sentences to phrases, thus facilitating preferred large text without increasing task times."
Investigating input technologies for children and young adults with Down syndrome
"Using computers as an assistive technology for people with various types of physical and perceptual disabilities has been studied extensively. However, research on computer technology used by individuals with Down syndrome is limited. This paper reports an empirical study that investigated the use of three input techniques (keyboard and mouse, word prediction, and speech recognition) by children and young adults with Down syndrome and neurotypical children. The results suggest that the performance of the Down syndrome participants vary substantially. The high performing Down syndrome participants are capable of using the keyboard or the word prediction software to generate text at approximately 6 words per minute with error rates below 5%, which is similar to the performance of the younger neurotypical participants. No significant difference was observed between the keyboard condition and the word prediction condition. Recognition error rate observed under the speech input condition is very high for the Down syndrome participants. The neurotypical children achieved better performance than the participants with Down syndrome on the input tasks and demonstrated different preferences when interacting with the input techniques. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are also discussed."
A kinect-based vocational task prompting system for individuals with cognitive impairments
"Difficulties in executing daily living tasks hamper the quality of life of many individuals with cognitive impairments who are otherwise physically mobile. With sufficient and appropriate support on the job, many people with developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments are capable of participating in the world of work to various levels. Kinect is used as assistive technology for individuals with cognitive impairments to achieve the goal of performing task steps independently. In a community-based rehabilitation program under the guidance of three job coaches, a task prompting system called Kinempt was designed to assist four participants involving pre-service food preparation training. The study assessed the effectiveness of Kinempt in terms of precision and recall. A follow-up comparative study then evaluated a baseline method and the system of least prompts against the Kinempt system. Results indicate that for participants with cognitive disabilities, acquisition of job skills may be facilitated by use of Kinempt in conjunction with operant conditioning strategies. Our findings suggest that the image recognition technology may be able to facilitate task prompts needed by people with cognitive impairments. Therefore, the system may be helpful for pre-service training while increasing independence in the process of community integration."
Beyond user interfaces in mobile accessibility: Not just skin deep
"With the increasing popularity of mobile technologies, users today are able to access information from virtually anywhere. Examples include localization via the Global Positioning System (GPS), Internet access through cellular and WiFi networks, etc. Using assistive technologies, people with disabilities can live more independently than ever before. However, most of the current mobile applications are not developed with accessibility in mind. This paper uses mobile applications for public transit systems as a case study, and presents an extension of our prototype ABLE (Accessible Bussing through Location Estimation) Transit. Based on an estimate of the user's current location, ABLE Transit leverages the location services on mobile devices and public transit information to reveal schedule and route information in accessible formats. We derive four groups of personas that need to be addressed when designing accessible software. While the cross platform accessibility is preserved at the user interface level, we further investigated system level concerns and implemented two data storage strategies for large transit schedule data. We identify the tradeoffs of Web versus native applications, local versus remote data storage when developing assistive technology, and discovered that accessibility at system level is particularly challenging."
Text messaging with pictures and speech synthesis for adolescents and adults with cognitive and communicative disabilities – professionals' views about user satisfaction and participation
"Complex communication needs and problems with accessibility may restrict people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to communicate on the phone. New technology is promising. People with limited skills in reading and writing can communicate on the phone by using symbols representing words or phrases. METHODS: This interview study examines professionals' views of satisfaction, participation and involvement in daily life in seven individuals with cognitive and communicative disabilities who tried text messaging with picture symbols and speech synthesis in smartphones. The users' experiences of text-messaging are reported elsewhere. RESULTS: The results suggest that texting with picture symbols and speech can increase independence and participation in adults with cognitive and communicative disabilities. Results also point to the necessity of individual assessments. Important factors for user satisfaction include products which can be adapted according to the individual's needs. Speech synthesis, user friendly lay-out and functions making devices easy to handle are necessary. CONCLUSIONS: This study is promising and informative for professionals working with communication technology. It supports enabling of texting today as well as future development of smartphone applications for persons with cognitive and communicative disabilities."
Internet Access by People with Intellectual Disabilities: Inequalities and Opportunities
"This review gives an overview of the societal inequalities faced by people with intellectual disabilities, before focusing specifically on challenges people face accessing the Internet. Current access will be outlined along with the societal, support and attitudinal factors that can hinder access. Discussion of carer views of Internet use by people with intellectual disabilities will be covered incorporating consideration of the tension between protection, self-determination and lifestyle issues and gaining Internet access. We will address how impairment related factors may impede access and subsequently discuss how supports may be used to obfuscate impairments and facilitate access. We will move on from this to critically describe some of the potential benefits the Internet could provide to people with intellectual disabilities, including the potential for self-expression, advocacy and developing friendships. Finally, strategies to better include people with intellectual disabilities online will be given along with future research suggestions."
Hybrid ontology based e - Learning expert system for children with Autism
"By Semantically enabling the Computer Aided Instructional (CAI) content one could bring in intelligence into the e-Learning applications for Persons with Cognitive Disabilities. An e-Learning system with semantic based content extraction mechanism is proposed which uses Hybrid Ontologies that are specifically evolved for teaching children with Autism. Annotation of content with extended properties such as disability, learning styles and pedagogy, enables the e-Learning system to become user-aware. The proposed system is an adaptable e-Learning system, based on a hybrid ontology that was drawn from disability based domain knowledge and the associated teaching methodologies. This intelligent system adapts to the user's learning needs by facilitating the user with suitable learning content based on his capabilities as brought out in his Individualized Educational Programmes (IEPs)."
Quality comparison of websites related to developmental disabilities.
"The Internet is commonly used to seek health-related information, but little is known about the quality of websites on developmental disabilities. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the characteristics and quality of websites located by searching ten common terms related to developmental disabilities and explore relations between website characteristics and website quality in order to make recommendations on ways to ensure locating good online information."
An arabic ontology-based learning system for children with intellectual challenges
"Children with intellectual challenges (IC) are growing up with extensive exposure to computer technology." "This paper proposes an assistive education system that dynamically generates multimedia tutorials for children with IC in the state of Qatar. We use several techniques to generate the tutorials which include: Arabic text processing, entities relationship extraction, multimedia-based ontology, and online retrieval of multimedia contents."
Personal learning environment for disabled People
"This paper presents a Personal Learning Environment for People with Disabilities, a system that adapts information display in an e-learning environment, according to characteristics and difficulties of a student with mild cognitive disabilities. The Personal Learning Environment for People with Disabilities includes a neural network to classify disability type (sensory orcognitive), which becomes a base to build virtual environments that can adapt and personalize information to students, taking into account their context and profile."
Cognitive Web Accessibility: Research 2013
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