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Carmien, S., Dawe, M., Fischer, G., Gorman, A., Kintsch, A., & Sullivan, J. F. (2004) "Socio-Technical Environments Supporting People with Cognitive Disabilities Using Public Transportation," Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (ToCHI), p. (in press).

Briefly discuss the following issues for the paper that you have read:
1. what did you find
1.1. interesting about the article?
1.2. not interesting about the article?
I really like the problem-solving approach utilized in the study. Needs were explicitly assessed and it appeared like lots of discussion centered around why certain needs were not being met by existing systems and what other resources existed to solve these dilemmas. It is so important to understand the physical and well as the social constraints that are influencing the issue and how they differ for users with cognitive disabilities versus caretakers versus users without cognitive disabilities.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?
The article provides a model and a framework for understanding how technology can be used in context to serve the needs of multiple populations. We need to consider the individual and social situations instead of creating and designing technologies for the "average user".

3. what did you find interesting about the systems?
3.1. Personal Travel Assistant
3.2. Memory Aiding Prompting System (MAPS)
3.3. Lifeline
How these tools mediate between a person and their environment. They access and provide information to prompt and remind a person with cognitive disabilities. They allow a person the independence and the support they need in real time.

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
5.2. learning
5.3. collaboration
5.4. innovative media to support these activities?
Design is context specific. The "average user" mentality is not useful for future designing. The importance of understanding the learner in learning situations can not be overemphasized. Understanding people with cognitive disabilities versus without, regular bus users vs irregular users is critical. Collaboration that is based on a distributed cognition model relies on people with varying perspectives and expertise. This project would have looked considerably different if only transportation specialists would have been involved. Resources exist or are being developed for certain contexts that with a little brainstorming and creativity can be applied in new situations very effectively.

6. are themes discussed in the article which you would like to know more about?
I would like to know more detail about this approach to solving problems.

7. do you have any ideas how this research could / should be extended (based on your own knowledge and experience)?
What about uses with students with cognitive disabilities in the classroom?

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