Maximizing Quality of Life with Person-Centered Cognitive Support Technologies

Background
• Personal Background – Dan Davies:
Counselor/ Case Manager in ID/DD Adult Services Field Human Factors Scientist for FAA’s next generation Air Traffic Controller Workstations Master’s in Clinical/Applied Experimental Psychology, University of Colorado Adjunct Researcher – University of Kansas, Beach Center on Disability

• Began Research Specifically on Using Technology for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in 1991 • Founded AbleLink Technologies in 1997 • AbleLink’s Mission
Research, Development, and Delivery of Cognitive Technology addressing the Specific Needs of Individuals with Intellectual and other Cognitive Disabilities

Cognitive Support Technologies … Technologies for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities

Cognitive Technology: An Emerging Field
  Many Assistive Technologies exist for mobility, sensory, and communication disabilities Augmentative Communication Device Industry Example
R & D of devices from 1960s Commercial Devices Introduced - Efficacy studies conducted to demonstrate societal benefits - Outcome research effects funding legislation - Industry grows over four decades – now dozens of manufactures with over 250 communication devices and Apps

Field of Cognitive Technologies in its infancy
- Industry just over a decade old - Experimental studies of benefits of cognitive support technology exist, but scope is limited - Very little evidence based research from longitudinal/ large sample size studies - Funding legislation has not been impacted - yet! - Increasing research focus from government and universities - Only a few companies focused on cognitive technology; more now with App world

AbleLink’s Cognitive Technology Research & Development
• Small Business Innovation Research Funding – ED, NIH, DARPA
– – 25+ Phase I Concept Validation Studies Completed, 3 more in progress (6 month projects) 10+ Phase II Development Projects Completed, 1 in progress (2 year projects)

Collaboration with Universities and Other Disability Organizations
– – – – partnered on DRRP on Technology and Intellectual Disability partnered with RERC on Advancing Cognitive Technologies partnered with Westchester Institute for Human Development’s Center on Health, Disability and Technology partnered with CU and WIHD on two Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Technology Projects

Research Outcomes
– – 25+ peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on technology for persons with cognitive disabilities 15+ commercially available cognitive support technologies (accessible cell phone, scheduling, email, web-browsing, electronic books as well as other products for independent living)

Technology Defined

the application of scientific advances to benefit humanity
(The Franklin Institute - http://fi.edu.franklin.glossary.html)

Technology Paradox

Technology Paradox
F u n Hi c t i o n a li t Low y

Functionality vs. Usability

Usability “…the same technology that simplifies life by providing more functionality … “…the same technology that simplifies life by providing more functionality … also also complicates life by making it hard to learn. complicates life by making it hard to learn. This paradox of technology is This paradox of technology is oftenoften used by peopleexcuse excuse for poor used by people as an as an for poor design…” design…” Donald A. Norman - The Design of Everyday Things, 1988 (pp. 30-31)
Donald A. Norman - The Design of Everyday Things, 1988 (pp. 30-31)

Functionality
Low

Usability

Hi

Early Mainstream Technologies

Technology Paradox
F u Hi n c t i o Core n a li t y Low

Usability Usability Low Hi “…the same technology that simplifies life by providing more functionality … also complicates life by making it hard to learn. This paradox of technology is often used by people as an excuse for poor design…” Donald A. Norman - The Design of Everyday Things, 1988 (pp. 30-31)

Functionality

Example: Microwave Ovens

Example: Cell Phones

Existing and Emerging Technology Platforms

The User Interface is the Key (Software)

Technology Paradox in Action
Functionality vs. Usability

Technology Paradox
F u Hi n c t i o Core n a li t y Low

Usability Usability Low Hi “…the same technology that simplifies life by providing more functionality … also complicates life by making it hard to learn. This paradox of technology is often used by people as an excuse for poor design…” Donald A. Norman - The Design of Everyday Things, 1988 (pp. 30-31)

Functionality

Skype – Free yes - easy to use?

Type 1: Cognitively Accessible Everyday Technologies
- needs-based, person centered design results in everyday technologies that are simpler to use

Purpose: access core functionality of everyday technologies

Accessible Everyday Technologies
Functionality vs. Usability

Technology Paradox
F u Hi n c t i o Core n a li t y Low

Usability Usability Low Hi “…the same technology that simplifies life by providing more functionality … also complicates life by making it hard to learn. This paradox of technology is often used by people as an excuse for poor design…” Donald A. Norman - The Design of Everyday Things, 1988 (pp. 30-31)

Functionality

e.g. cell phones, schedulers, email, reading technologies, etc.

Schedule Assistant
Mobile device-based reminder system using picture and audio prompts to help individuals maintain personal schedules, e.g. catch the bus, manage work breaks, call home.

Desktop Software: Activity Scheduling

PicturePlanner from Cognitopia Software

Type 2: Cognitive Support Technologies (CST)
- Specialized technologies to maximize functional outcomes (e.g. prompting technologies)

Purpose: cognitive ability + technology = improved task performance

Evolution of Mobile Cognitive Support Technologies
Pocket Coach: Pre-PDA “PDA” for individuals with intellectual disabilities, providing step-by-step verbal task prompting.

Decision Support for Complex Tasks
Prompting system supporting more complex tasks through use of decision points and automated sequencing timers.

Cognitively Accessible Windows or Macintosh Computing Environment

Barriers to Access Begin at the Operating System

Ex: Endeavor – Accessible Operating Environment

Endeavor: Accessible News and Picture Feeds

Endeavor: Visual Supports for Learning

AIMS Tasks - Step-by Step Task Instructions, Social Stories, Visual Modeling

Endeavor Connect: Cognitive Access to Facebook

Endeavor Talker: Communication System

Communication Coexisting with Computer Access

Desktops are Driven by Personal Interests and Needs

Accessibility Settings Applied to Each User via the Cloud

Managed by Caregiver/ Family through the Cloud

Dad’s Endeavor Checks for Updates from the Cloud

Jonathan’s New Accessible Content Arrives via the Cloud

Cognitive Support Technologies for Mobile Devices

Mobile Devices – The App World
Wide Range of Options, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Research-Based Cognitive Support Technologies - Learning Tools

Living Safely – iPad App for Self-Directed Safety Skills Training Everyday Skills – iPad App for Self-Directed Life Skills Training

Accessible Testing – iPad and Windows Slate
Self-directed, survey tools , such as consumer satisfaction surveys, using multi-modal presentation and accessible design can increase independence and reduce staff time interviewing and entering/ aggregating data.

ATLAS – Accessible Testing Learning & Assessment System

Cloud-based Activity Support System for Accessible Learning

Visual Impact – Step-by-step multimedia task instructions available in online Learning Library, similar to the “iTunes ” store

Cloud-based Activity Support System for Accessible Learning

Visual Impact – Step-by-step multimedia task instructions available online, similar to the “iTunes” store

Cloud-based Activity Support System for Accessible Learning

Visual Impact – Step-by-step multimedia task instructions available online, similar to the “iTunes” store

Cloud-based Activity Support System for Accessible Learning

Visual Impact – Step-by-step multimedia task instructions available online, similar to the “iTunes” store

Pro version allows Creation of Social Stories, Visual Modeling Tasks on iPad

Facilitating Independent Community Access
WayFinder: An accessible SmartPhone app (Windows Mobile) for providing multimedia prompts to individuals with cognitive disabilities for navigating public transit systems.

GPS-based Prompting with Visual Supports and Location Support

Windows Mobile

AbleLink’s You Tube Channel Example with Chad learning to ride the bus

Mobile Devices – Location Aware and GPS
Travel support technologies for facilitate impendence in the community and communication with family members or remote caregivers.

Thanks for listening!

Contact Info: AbleLink Technologies, Inc. 618 N. Nevada Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80903 www.ablelinktech.com www.aimsxml.com

Dan Davies dan@ablelinktech.com 719-592-0347 ext 110

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