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AbleLink's Cognitively Accessible Scheduling Technologies Moving to the Cloud

August 18, 2011

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has awarded AbleLink Technologies a new Phase I SBIR Grant that will start October 1st. A short summary of this project is provided below:

Project Title: Schedule Manager: A Remote Schedule Management and Monitoring System to Support Personal Scheduling by Individuals with Intellectual and Cognitive Disabilities

Project Start Date: 10/1/2011

Principal Investigator: Daniel K. Davies

Funding Agency: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

Difficulty with time management is one of the most significant barriers that exists for individuals with intellectual and cognitive disabilities, particularly in situations where there is a need to dynamically change the individual’s personal schedule, such as a changed doctor’s appointment or work schedule. While recent work has been documented to address schedule management issues, there are several limitations to the current systems. Units must generally be pre-programmed by a parent, employer or teacher, and mobile device based reminder systems do not have the capability to provide feedback to caregivers for helping ensure the individual in fact followed the schedule as planned. Thus, the requirement to be pre-programmed, the lack of ability to remotely update the individual’s schedule, and the lack of a feedback loop represent significant limitations of existing systems.

Through previous research and development efforts focused on cognitive accessibility, AbleLink has developed a stand-alone SmartPhone-based application called Schedule Assistant and a desktop program called Schedule Impact which go part of the way in addressing this need for individuals with intellectual disabilities. With the current system, units are pre-programmed with the individual’s schedule by a parent, living skills counselor or other support professional. In this project, we will expand scheduling using cloud-based computing to develop and test the utility of Schedule Manager, a remote schedule management and monitoring prototype designed to use mobile technology to enable real-time, “on-the-fly” changes to an individual’s schedule from remote locations and to monitor adherence to scheduled activities by the individuals with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. The system will also have the capability to “close the loop” regarding scheduling by providing real-time feedback to caregivers (if applicable) responsible for helping the individual with personal scheduling. The system will be developed as an App that will be available on Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) as well as Android mobile devices. The first phase of the project will culminate in March 2012 with a pilot study to test the efficacy of the approach for enabling independent and timely responses to real-time schedule changes as compared to traditional methods of updating schedules.

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For more information contact:
Rich Herold
AbleLink Technologies
719.592.0347, Ext. 121
rich@ablelinktech.com

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