Automatically Generating Online Social Network Messages to Combat Social Isolation of People with Disabilities

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Abstract

We investigate the use of social networks for people with disabilities and their family and caregivers. Loneliness and isolation are problems people with limited communication abilities may experience. Online social networks may help overcome such communication barriers, but there are still many challenges. One challenge encountered by users of assistive technology is a learning curve not only of the user, but of family and caregivers. Our system automatically generates messages that would help answer the question “What did I do today?” and posts some of the user’s daily activities with the software to online social networks. The users of our software would be able to post these messages to social networking websites to better enhance their communication with family and caregivers. We report qualitative feedback from a small preliminary user study.