Computer Usage By Young Individuals With Ds Essay

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Computer Usage by Young Individuals with Down Syndrome: An Exploratory Study Jinjuan Feng, Jonathan Lazar Department of Computer and Information Sciences Towson University Towson, MD 21252 +1-410-704-3463 {jfeng,jlazar} Libby Kumin Department of Speech-Language Pathology Loyola College Baltimore, MD 21210 +1-410-617-7623 Ant Ozok Department of Information Systems UMBC 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250 +1-410-455-8627 ABSTRACT In this paper, we discuss the results of an online survey that investigates how children and young adults with Down syndrome use computers and computer-related devices. The survey responses cover 561 individuals with Down syndrome between the age of four to 21. The survey results suggest that the majority of the children and young adults with Down syndrome can use the mouse to interact with computers, which requires spatial, cognitive, and fine motor skills that were previously believed to be quite challenging for individuals with Down syndrome. The results show great difficulty in text entry using keyboards. Young individuals with Down syndrome are using a variety of computer applications and computer related devices, and computers and computer-related devices play important roles in the life of individuals with Down syndrome. There appears to be great potential in computer-related education and training to broaden existing career opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome, and there needs to be further research on this topic. Categories and Subject Descriptors K.4.2 [Computers and Society]: Social Issues – Assistive technologies for persons with disabilities. General Terms Human factors Keywords Down syndrome, computer use, kids, young individuals, human factors, human-computer interaction, usability Permission to make digital or hard copies

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