How Cognitive Support Technology Is Empowering One Man with Autism

Raising three boys in rural Oregon in the late 1980s and 1990s, Trina began to first notice unique developmental behavior in her three-year-old son Clinton as he was just learning to read. “Clinton had learned all of the sounds, but phonetically he couldn’t put them together. Even today, Clinton is more typical in that he can read the dictionary and learn the definitions of words or small things, but he cannot read a novel.” Continue reading

What if You Are Unable to Talk?

Every word is part of living. So what if you are unable to talk? “What do you do to communicate?” People have been asking me that question since I was little. I tell them I use sign language for communicating with people. Then people ask me how do they understand you without an interpreter? Well, I have an iPad. That has a program called TouchChat. Continue reading

How Goals and Routines Connect

Managing the Routines of Daily Living

Goal Guide helps individuals with cognitive disabilities set goals, track progress, and share their accomplishments with others. In the course of developing Goal Guide we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship between goals and routines of daily living. Continue reading

Using Goal Guide to Manage Routines at Home and in Middle School

Our work on cognitively accessible self-management applications has always relied on a participatory research approach that grounds development in the real-world life experience of individuals with disabilities and those who support them. We are fortunate to have a rich network of students and adults with disabilities, parents, and teachers who drive our iterative development approach by providing design input, using our beta version apps, and telling us how to improve them. Continue reading

MyLife: IEP Self-Direction and Digital Storytelling

When we started the MyLife project, our focus was on the development of a cognitively accessible, multimedia ePortfolio that would function as a kind of online résumé with a person-centered planning style. The end goal was to provide an intuitive, digital tool for students as end users that would let them document and share their educational, work, and personal experiences, and interests in a way that would foster more meaningful IEP participation and help with transition to adulthood. Continue reading

Some Cool New Assistive Technology Products

“For people without disabilities, technology makes it better;
For people with disabilities, technology makes it possible…”

John D. Kemp
http://www.viscardicenter.org

Cognitopia exhibited and presented on its innovative platform of self-management applications for individuals with cognitive disabilities at the 2017 Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference in Orlando, Florida last month. ATIA is a gathering of people who research, create, manufacture, and use assistive technology — products, equipment, and systems that enhance learning, working, and daily living for persons with disabilities. Continue reading

How MyLife Can be Used as a Student-Directed Assessment Tool

In a student’s mind, assessment is synonymous with “testing,” and nothing causes anxiety like the prospect of having to take a test. Most educators realize, however, that effective formative assessment of progress, learning, and educational experiences go way beyond test taking. Measuring student progress over time should include formal and informal assessment procedures and it requires tools that capture the full range of students’ experiences, preferences, and goals. Continue reading

More Snap Peas Please

There was one moment using the Picture Planner visual calendaring program back in 2001 that particularly sticks out for me.

Through the Eugene 4J Schools Community Living Program, students have the opportunity to volunteer at a nearby community garden. Like many people with autism spectrum disorders, my students that year had very restricted diets. Many of the students refused to eat vegetables. One person had never eaten foods that were a different color other than white. Continue reading

Goal Guide Saves Christmas and Other Cool Features

Each December, a bit of holiday magic blows down from the North Pole and brings Oliver the Christmas Elf to life. While all of our children are dreaming of sugarplum fairies and life-like wooden soldiers, Oliver cleverly hides his fluffy little body in a place that delights, yet challenges, the entire household come first light. Continue reading

Back to School and the IEP

Well, it’s back to school time, time to get off your butt and work, time to focus on your life, time to keep the time. It’s also time to get your goals established. Yeah, you have to deal with those people that want to make you jump off a cliff, but it’s also time to focus on yourself and what you need.  Continue reading