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Development and Evaluation of a Cognitively Accessible App to Facilitate Social Networking for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Award Information
Agency: Department of Education
Branch: N/A
Contract: H133S140066
Agency Tracking Number: H133S140066
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-10-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-03-31
Small Business Information
618 N. Nevada Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-0116
United States
DUNS: 008546678
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Davies
 Founder and President
 (719) 592-0347
 dan@ablelinktech.com
Business Contact
 Brian Bard
Title: Program Specialist
Phone: (202) 245-7345
Email: brian.bard@ed.gov
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

The social isolation issues of individuals with intellectual disabilities are well documented in the literature. New social networking technologies have served to provide a popular format for increasing human socialization opportunities world wide. Challenges to independent access to social networking sites for individuals with intellectual disabilities include excessively featured, cluttered interfaces and primarily text-based interfaces. Facebook, with over 1.11 billion current users, is among the most popular social networking sites. While entities such as the American Federation for the Blind have begun making inroads to improving the accessibility of Facebook for citizens with visual impairments, no such effort has been undertaken for students and adults with intellectual disabilities. This project proposes development and evaluation of a software interface into Facebook for user on mobile devices that is independently usable by individuals with intellectual disabilities, including those with limited or no literacy skills. This App will
provide a multimedia (e.g., voice recording, icons, text to speech) interface, a customizable filtering tool to limit screen features, and computer-generated prompts to guide the user using Facebook’s Software Development Kit (SDK) and open development opportunities. It will culminate in a feasibility study to determine if the simplified multimedia interface approach can significantly increase independent access to the most commonly used Facebook features for
students and adults with intellectual disabilities.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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