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
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. An annual campaign led by the Brain Injury Awareness Association of America (BIAA) and the United States Brain Injury Alliance, Brain Injury Awareness Month “provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.” Continue reading
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
In a previous blog post, we showed how the Goal Guide app is being used by the Community Transition and Connections Program in Eugene 4J School District in Eugene, Oregon to foster independence and empower students to run a school store with minimal interaction, prompting, or supervision. Continue reading
“For people without disabilities, technology makes it better;
For people with disabilities, technology makes it possible…”
John D. Kemp
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
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
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
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
I remember first meeting Tom Keating in 2001 at the Community Living Program (CLP) in Eugene, Oregon. The CLP is a special education program for students ages 18-21 with a range of exceptionalities who have either graduated with a modified diploma or high school equivalency. Continue reading
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
Cognitopia stated out as an idea, much like a seed, now it has grown into a beautiful tree with flourishing branches that give ideas, encouragement and motivation. Continue reading
Last fall I decided I was going to college and I was very excited about my decision. I took the placement tests for reading, writing, and math and I got into credits classes at Lane Community College. I started in the winter term and I was ready to quit in the second week. Why? Because there was a lot of homework and speed. Continue reading
I met Dorothy Miller for the first time a few months ago. She’s young and beautiful and has the kind of optimism and enthusiasm one might expect from a person about to enter the workforce. Dorothy wants to make the world a better place, starting with children.
Due to her dysarthria, Dorothy uses the TouchChat program on her iPad to communicate with staff and students in her first year at the local community college. Dorothy’s ultimate goal is to receive her early elementary teaching certification. Continue reading
One of the things that we take pride in doing is embedding ourselves in the special education and autism communities here in Eugene. We learn so much from our peers and friends at places like the ARC of Lane County, Pearl Buck Center, the newly launched SLLEA house, and especially the innovative Connections Program run through the 4J school district. Continue reading
Tom Keating and I both grew up with younger brothers on the autism spectrum. We know that sometimes facing the seemingly “little things” is often more difficult than what other people will ever be able to understand. We also know how simple solutions to everyday problems can have a large impact on a person’s quality of life. Continue reading
In his opening remarks at The Big Mix V2 event in March, Skip Newberry, president of the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) sited 20% overall growth for tech companies operating in and out of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon.
Founded in the entrepreneurial spirit of the Oregon Trail, it’s no surprise the Willamette Valley is a modern-day haven for startups, venture capital, and business incubators evolving from the hacker and maker space revolution responsible for shifting our collective paradigm on the importance of skilled trades. Continue reading