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1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

The article made me consider how difficult and complex navigating public transportation systems can be. As a long time, daily user of public transportation in several different cities, most of the difficulties associated with riding have become invisible to me. I found it interesting to be reminded of the many cognitive demands placed on public transport users; of the need to interpret dense and cryptic schedules and maps, to understand and associate clock time and schedule time, and to maintain appropriate attention for long periods, for example.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

Nothing specific.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The article is descriptive of research into technologies which assist people with cognitive disabilities in using public transportation, and assist their caregivers / support community in their support roles- teaching, monitoring, responding to problems.

3. what did you find interesting about the systems?

3.1. Personal Travel Assistant

It seems like it would be quite useful for people who are not disabled as well. I would love to know when my bus is coming based on GPS data rather than relying on schedules.

3.2. Memory Aiding Prompting System (MAPS)

Generating scripts seems somewhat laborious with this system—the user needs to travel the route, take photos, record sounds… On the other hand, the end user (cognitively disabled person) must get much higher quality prompts (more memorable, more personally meaningful) that way.

3.3. Lifeline

Providing caregivers the ability to monitor cognitively disabled people while they travel independently seems very important as a feature and absolutely necessary as a selling point. I’m thinking of my aunt, who is developmentally disabled (IQ<50): some way of maintaining close supervision and constant contact between her and her parents would certainly need to be in place before she would be willing (or they would allow her) to travel independently.

4. do you know of other papers, ideas, and systems which are closely related to the article and the systems?


5. what do the article and the associated systems say about

5.1. design

The design of these systems is an iterative process involving the community of cognitively disabled people and their caregivers at all stages.

5.2. learning

Learning to do one thing (eg. to ride a bus from a to b) may require learning to do other, more cognitively demanding things (eg. interpret bus schedules).

5.3. collaboration

Disparate communities, including assistive technology specialists, urban designers, technology researchers, and people with disabilities and their caregivers must collaborate to create this type of technology.

5.4. innovative media to support these activities?

GPS + assistive technologies can help people learn to use public transportation.

6. are themes discussed in the article which you would like to know more about?

I’m especially interested in MAPS. I’d like to see that working.

7. do you have any ideas how this research could / should be extended (based on your own knowledge and experience)?


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