Evaluation of a Universally Designed Multimedia Approach to Promote Independent Instant Messaging Technology for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
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618 North Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO, 80903
AbstractThis project develops and evaluates a multimedia instant messaging (IM) system, VisualMessenger, that is designed to be usable independently by individuals with intellectual and othercognitive disabilities. The prototype software system developed in this project is used in a betweensubjectspilot study comparing it with mainstream IM applications to measure its effectiveness in termsof independent usability, efficacy, and potential for impacting social isolation. The resulting newtechnology tool provides benefits in the areas of social connectedness, recreation, self esteem, andcomputer skills. It also serves as a reasonable accommodation in situations where IM is a requirementof a job. The primary benefit is providing an independently usable platform for individuals withintellectual disabilities to communicate with friends and family, be they across town or across thecountry, in real time.
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