New computer software for people with learning disabilities to be unveiled at open morning
New computer software to teach people with learning disabilities the basic skills needed for everyday activities like shopping and crossing roads has been developed by researchers at The University of Nottingham.
Using a specially adapted joystick and the click of a mouse, people with learning disabilities can put money into a trolley, navigate themselves around a three-dimensional computer-generated supermarket and find items they need on their shopping list.
In another 3-D street scene program they can practise crossing the road in a number of different scenarios, including using a zebra crossing, a pelican crossing and safely crossing without help near a crossroads.
A computer game dubbed Running Man has been written, in which users need to move a character across a two-dimensional screen, using a switch to make the character jump obstacles.
The software, which will be on display at an open morning being held in Bilborough later this week, has been developed by a team led by Professor Penny Standen in the Universitys Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing, and computer scientist David Brown at Nottingham Trent University. It aims to make computers easier to use for people with learning disabilities who may also have some physical impairment, teach them new social and health and safety skills and develop cognitive abilities such as reaction time and attention span.
The research has been funded by grants from organisations including the Economics and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Social Fund and the Learning Skills Council.
Professor Standen said: “For many of us activities like going to the shops or crossing the road are very simple tasks that we wouldnt think twice about. However, for someone who has severe learning disabilities, which may include a limited use of language, and, in some cases, some form of physical impairment, it can be quite a daunting experience.
“Our studies have shown that through the use of this new software, the skills and abilities of the people with learning disabilities who worked with us on this research did improve. The software provides activities that are educational but also fun, therapeutic and stimulating.”
Prof. Penny Standen | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...