Mobile Devices as Assistive Technologies for ASD: Experiences in the Classroom

  • David Roldán-ÁlvarezEmail author
  • Javier Gomez
  • Ana Márquez-Fernández
  • Estefanía Martín
  • Germán Montoro
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9747)


Information and Communication Technologies offer new opportunities to people with disabilities to develop their autonomy and independence in their daily life activities. However, more research should be done in order to comprehend how technology affects this collective of people. This paper presents two experiences where participants with cognitive disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder used AssisT-Task to perform job related activities and DEDOS to perform educational activities. Their performance is improved along the sessions using both tools. Combining visual and textual information help students with cognitive disabilities and ASD to focus on the contents presented, avoiding usability and accessibility issues, and therefore improving their learning process while they are having fun interacting with new technologies.


ASD ICT Mobile Learning 



This work has been funded in part by the Spanish Economy and Competitiveness Ministry under project “e-Integra: e-Training y e-Coaching para la integración socio-laboral” (TIN2013-44586-R) and by the Region of Madrid under project “eMadrid – Investigación y Desarrollo de tecnologías para el e-learning en la Comunidad de” Madrid (S2013/ICE-2715). Thanks to the participants who were involved in the experiences presented in this paper.


  1. 1.
    Gell, N.M., Rosenberg, D.E., Demiris, G., LaCroix, A.Z., Patel, K.V.: Patterns of technology use among older adults with and without disabilities. The Gerontologist 55(3), 412–421 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    LoPresti, E., Bodine, C., Lewis, C.: Assistive technology for cognition [understanding the needs of persons with disabilities]. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Mag. 27(2), 29–39 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dawe, M.: Understanding mobile phone requirements for young adults with cognitive disabilities. In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007), 30 April–03 May 2007, pp. 179–186. ACM (2007). doi: 10.1145/1296843.1296874
  4. 4.
    Holzinger, A., Searle, G., Wernbacher, M.: The effect of previous exposure to technology on acceptance and its importance in usability and accessibility engineering. Univ. Access Inf. Soc. 10(3), 245–260 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chang, Y.-J., Chou, L.-D., Wang, F.T.-Y., Chen, S.-F.: A kinectbased vocational task prompting system for individuals with cognitive impairments. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 17(2), 351–358 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hourcade, J.P., Williams, S.R., Miller, E.A., Huebner, K.E., Liang, L.J.: Evaluation of tablet apps to encourage social interaction in children with autism spectrum disorders. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 3197–3206. ACM (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cantón, P., González, Á.L., Mariscal, G., Ruiz, C.: Applying new interaction paradigms to the education of children with special educational needs. In: Miesenberger, K., Karshmer, A., Penaz, P., Zagler, W. (eds.) ICCHP 2012, Part I. LNCS, vol. 7382, pp. 65–72. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-31522-0_10 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Inkpen, K.M., Ho-Ching, W., Kuederle, O., Scott, S.D., Shoemaker, G.B.: This is fun! we’re all best friends and we’re all playing: supporting children’s synchronous collaboration. In: Hoadley, C.M., Roschelle, J. (eds.) Proceedings of the 1999 Conference on Computer Support For Collaborative Learning (CSCL 1999). International Society of the Learning Sciences (1999). Article 31Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Roldán-Álvarez, D., Márquez-Fernández, A., Rosado-Martín, S., Martín, E., Haya, P.A., García-Herranz, M.: Benefits of combining multitouch tabletops and turn-based collaborative learning activities for people with cognitive disabilities and people with ASD. In: 2014 IEEE 14th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), pp. 566–570. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Taylor, J., Hodapp, R.M.: Doing nothing: adults with disabilities with no daily activities and their siblings. Am. J. Intell Dev. Disabil. 117(1), 67–79 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Radford, J., Bosanquet, P., Webster, R., Blatchford, P.: Scaffolding learning for independence: clarifying teacher and teaching assistant roles for children with special educational needs. Learn. Instr. 36, 1–10 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Robinson, W., Syed, A., Akhlaghi, A., Deng, T.: Pattern discovery of user interface sequencing by rehabilitation clients with cognitive impairments. In: 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, pp. 3001–3010. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lazar, J., Kumin, L., Feng, J.: Understanding the computer skills of adult expert users with down syndrome: an exploratory study. In: The Proceedings of the 13th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ser. ASSETS 2011, pp. 51–58 (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gómez, J., Alamán, X., Montoro, G., Torrado, J.C., Plaza, A.: AmICog–mobile technologies to assist people with cognitive disabilities in the work place. ADCAIJ: Adv. Distrib. Comput. Artif. Intell. J. 2(7), 9–17 (2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Abinali, F., Goodwin, M.S., Intile, S.: Recognizing stereotypical motor movements in the laboratory and classroom: a case study with children on the autism spectrum. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp 2009), pp. 71–80. ACM, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lloyd, J., Moni, K., Jobling, A.: Breaking the hype cycle: using the computer effectively with learners with intellectual disabilities. Down Syndr. Res. Pract. 9(3), 68–74 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Roldán-Álvarez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Javier Gomez
    • 1
  • Ana Márquez-Fernández
    • 2
  • Estefanía Martín
    • 2
  • Germán Montoro
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Rey Juan CarlosMóstolesSpain

Personalised recommendations