Technology Support for Interactive and Collaborative Visual Schedules
University of California, Irvine
Visual schedules can improve the ability for individuals with autism to understand, structure, and predict activities. They are often used as part of behavioral and educational interventions to support children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. These schedules, if properly augmented, can also provide avenues for better communication, real-time problem solving and schedule manipulation, and reporting about this information. Dr. Hayes aims to produce affordable and effective solutions for computer-based interactive, collaborative, ubiquitous, and intelligent visual schedule systems. Dr. Hayes' lab will develop interactive, sensing, and communications technologies that can be used both in schools and homes and that can support the user in dealing with the unexpected events in daily real-world life. They will leverage existing classroom and home practices, as well as technologies previously shown to support collaboration and interaction in special education and autism-specific classrooms, including technologies previously co-developed by Dr. Hayes with the help of prior Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative support. What this means for people with autism: This project seeks to improve the day-to-day lives of people with autism by providing a mechanism for planning and conducting activities, as well as systematically tracking progress. First, this will make it easier for support networks (parents, teachers and specialists) to collaborate on education and treatment goals for a child with autism, as well as track the child's progress. Second, and perhaps most significantly, the products developed by this team should lead to increased autonomy by providing supports for navigating daily tasks successfully.