CTAS: A Self-Directed Computer Technology Assessment System for Students and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
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People with intellectual disabilities have generally missed the educational benefits, productivity gains and personal enrichment that can result from computers and computer-based assistive technology. However, opportunities for enhanced self-determination and independence as a result of computer use for individuals with intellectual disabilities are now being recognized and documented in the research literature. A new challenge that is emerging for special education and human services professionals is the need to assess the skills and abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities with regard to technology use. Such assessments are considered an essential pre-requisite to equipping individuals with the right technology solutions given their needs and abilities. There are currently no assessment tools that address the unique computer use and interface needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
In response to a growing need, AbleLink Technologies proposes to develop and evaluate the Computer Technology Assessment System (CTAS), a self-directed assessment system for ongoing evaluation of computer skills and abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities to foster successful technology use. This will be accomplished through field evaluation of a CTAS prototype that will be developed and tested in a pilot study. Forty students will be solicited for participation in the study comparing the results of CTAS assessment with traditional computer skills assessment results conducted previously by assessment professionals. Pearson correlation coefficients will be calculated using the assessment score from each of the assessment approaches. Correlations will be tested for significance at the .05 level. It is hypothesized that the CTAS administration time retirements will be significantly reduced due to the multimedia and universal design approaches that will be used in its development to promote independent usability.
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