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Sources and conferences related to cognitive and learning disabilities

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 10:53:50 -0400
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20010425101735.041015b0@localhost>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
This info gleaned from: http://interwork.sdsu.edu/ablenet/cre.html
I found this page as a link on the Blissymbolics on the Web page: 
http://www.egt.ie/standards/by/bliss.html

We ought to follow these leads to find out more about the technology being 
built and research being conducted about cognitive and learning 
disabilities.  This is a list I compiled for myself and thought others 
might benefit or be interested in following up on the leads.


3. ADAMLAB 33500 Van Born Rd., P.O. Box 807, Wayne, MI 48184 / 313-467-1415 
/ FAX: 313-326-2610. *ADAMLAB's agenda includes research, development, 
prototyping, and manufacturing of voice output communication aids (VOCAs) 
and adaptive computerinterfaces, with emphasis on the needs of the lower 
cognitive functioning populations.

93. Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio Miami Valley Hospital, One Wyoming 
St., Dayton, OH 45409 / 513-220-2063. *The Institute uses computers to help 
brain injured individuals make maximum use of their abilities. Focus is on 
cognitive and linguistic retraining using microcomputers as therapeutic 
tools. Computer technology is also used with patients with high level 
spinal cord injuries.

Dr. Coombs serves on a number of advisory boards including the Archemedes 
Project: Center for the Study of Linguistic Information at Stanford 
University; The Science and Technology Radio Project in San Francisco, 
California; The University of Georgia, Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for 
Rehabilitation Learning Disabilities Research and Training Center; and The 
Higher Education and Adult Traning for People with Handicaps (HEATH).

<blockquote>
Educational software where the computer provides multi-sensory experiences, 
interaction, positive reinforcement, individualized instruction, and 
repetition can be useful in skill building. Some students with learning 
disabilities who have difficulty processing written information, can also 
benefit from completing writing assignments, tutorial lessons, and 
drill-and-practice work
with the aid of computers. For example, a standard word processor can be a
valuable tool for individuals with dysgraphia, an inability to produce
handwriting reliably.
Input: Quiet work areas and ear protectors may make computer input easier 
for individuals with learning disabilities who are hyper-sensitive to 
background noise.
Software that aids in efficient and accurate input can also assist. Some 
people can compensate for high rates of input errors by using 
spellcheckers, thesauruses, and grammar checkers. In addition, word 
prediction programs (software that predicts whole words from fragments) 
have been used successfully by students with learning disabilities. 
Similarly, macro software which expands abbreviations can reduce the 
necessity to memorize keyboard commands and can ease the entry of 
commonly-used text.
Output: Some learning disabled individuals find adaptive devices designed 
for those with visual impairments useful. In particular, large print 
displays, alternative colors on the computer screen, and voice output can 
compensate for some reading problems. People who have difficulty 
interpreting visual material can improve comprehension and the ability to 
identify and correct errors when words are spoken or printed in large fonts.
Documentation: Some individuals with learning disabilities find it 
difficult to read. Computer documentation provided in electronic forms can 
be used by enlarged character and voice synthesis devices to make it 
accessible to those with reading difficulties.
Reprinted with permission of the author, Sheryl Burgstahler, University of 
Washington
</blockquote>

CSUN
<blockquote>
b) "Virtual Reality and Persons with Disabilities," which is held in San 
Francisco each summer. This conference deals with the specialized area of 
virtual reality and its potential with people with disabilities. Science- 
fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, has been one of its keynote speakers. About 
300 people attend. A growing number of new applications in the field of 
disability are showcased at this conference each year. The Center conducts 
special meetings from time to time on issues of particular interest to the 
field. In 1991, for example, the Center conducted a workshop in Palm 
Springs, California, on Voice Input/Output where eight national priorities 
were identified. A Proceedings, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Tony 
Vitale of Digital, was published and was widely distributed. The Center 
publishes Proceedings of all of its conferences. These are available in 
hard copy and electronic formats.
3. Engage in a variety of research and training projects. Past projects 
include training in assistive technology, and learning disabilities, 
throughout federal Region IX: California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam, 
Saipan, and American Samoa; development of a screen reading device for 
learning disabled persons; development of a Universal Access System and 
research into three technologies of benefit to learning disabled users.
</blockquote>

59. Learning Disabilities Association of America 4156 Library Rd., 
Pittsburg, PA 15234 / 412-341-1515 / 412-341-8077 / FAX: 412-344-0224. *The 
Association's involvement with technology is training and information at an 
annual international conference. A major thrust of the conference is 
computer technology.

68. National Center for Learning Disabilities 381 Park Ave. S., Ste 1420, 
New York, NY 10016 / 212-545-7510

Other related info:
A Software Engineering Approach to Developing an Object-Oriented Lexical 
Access Database and Semantic Reasoning Module Wendy Mair Zickus' thesis 
submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial 
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in 
Computer and Information Sciences. 177K
http://www.asel.udel.edu/natlang/pubs/1995/Zickus95.txt
This has links to lots of research in the area of Augmentative and 
Alternative Communication.

Info about HyperGen, a summarizer. 
http://crl.nmsu.edu/Research/Projects/minds/core_summarization.html

Blissymbolics resources: http://www.symbols.net/blissre.htm

Song by Naomi and Wynona Judd in Bliss: 
http://www.rcl.it/bliss/world/judds.html

Links to articles written about language use on the Web. Considers "web 
english" and other possible languages, including symbolic language as a 
means to overcome cultural and language barriers. 
http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/eulang.html

Greg Gay's work at the ATRC: 
http://www.utoronto.ca/atrc/reference/staff/gay/gay.html
He did a review of WCAG about a year ago that is really helpful. I've asked 
him to repost it.
--
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
/--
Received on Wednesday, 25 April 2001 10:51:48 GMT

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