Amazon Echo

I am very excited to have been brought into this project. I have worked with Professor Lawler and Phil over the summer. I am really excited to be apart of something great. I have been brought up to speed with the research that has been done.

Our goal is to see if the Amazon Echo can improve communication of those with IDD. We have to understand how we can measure the success of those that are going to use the device. I am in the process of deciding how the workshops should be structured. My colleague and I have decided that we will have four workshops all together. We will use two locations. There will be two sessions in each location with the same group of people. Having the same group of people will allow us to see how they have grown.

I used the Amazon Echo for the first time about two weeks ago and see how much potential this device has. It is truly an impressive technology. I am thrilled to see how everyone responds to it.

Blog #2

In August 2014 my colleagues created a project called BIP- Balanced Incentive Project. The aim of this project was to increase independent goal pursuit among individuals. The deadline for this project was extended because it was doing so well. Results were recorded in January 2015 and July 2015. From January 2015 to July 2015 staff supervision hours decreased by more than 200 hours. In addition based on the results there was an upward trend in independence from January 2015 to July 2015. The results infer that through the use of technology individuals feel liberated, and due to this finding, another project was created, the Health and Wellness Project. This is the project that I have the privilege of working on.

The goal of this project is to afford people with IDD greater opportunity to proactively manage their health care choices. There seems to be a predicated notion that people with IDD have a difficult time accessing technology, but they can gain from it. People with IDD need more assistance, and they can benefit from the assistance of technology. As for a secondary goal, we have to create the capacity within the agency to capture hard data points provided from the devices. Then, we can identify data trends for each individual. Based on the activity points captured we can re-evaluate our support methods for each individual.

Individuals and staff members are both going to participate in this. It is going to be a mentoring experience. Each staff member and individual will have a wearable. They will do it together, creating a buddy system. Having a buddy system is helpful and provides encouragement.

I have researched wearable devices that consist of the FitBit Charge HR, HealBe GoBe, Spire, CareF, Apple Watch, Moto 360, Muse, and QardioArm. Each device in a different way can help you become aware of your health. The devices have the ability through their paired application, which depending on the particular devices can be accessed by smartphone and/or laptop, to allow you to see the data they collect. Data consists of calories, steps and distance, stress levels, and other variables.  When you have the knowledge you have the ability to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. If you know you need to walk more based on the information provided you could make changes. Each device can be used for a specific purpose, it all depends on what the individual’s needs and their goals.


The devices range from improving mental and physical health. Wearables such as the FitBit Charge HR allow you to create goals and see whether those goals have been met or surpassed. For example, with this particular device you can make a fitness related goal, and with the application, track your results. Another gadget, CareF is a watch, made for individuals who would like to venture into the community without the need for supervision therefore, increasing independence. The device has many features that make it possible for staff and families to feel reassured when the individual walks around. With this, you can set up boundaries and know if it has been crossed. The listed wearable devices will provide direction to live healthy independent lives.

Ultimately with the information provided by each device, we are trying to see how this collected data can impact chronic conditions. I have researched articles about this question. For those who want to be healthier and change their lifestyle, technology makes this easier due to feedback systems becoming so sophisticated; they respond to our activity and give us information on many aspects of our bodies. Currently, we are trying to see how this data can be used to understand the affects on chronic conditions.

We are proud to kickoff this project August 18th, 2015. Working on this project continues to teach me how people with disabilities can use and benefit from technology. Technology is innovative; it can change the quality of life for people. Having the opportunity to work on this project is enlightening; I have never worked on a project of this magnitude before. I have learned many skills from participating in this project: working in a team, communicating effectively, researching techniques, and many others. I have acquired knowledge about myself; I like to help people in any way I can and make the lives of people who live with challenges easier. With my major in information technology with a concentration in web design and digital media, I hope to expand upon what I have learned about the various technologies to someday create one of my own.

Evaluating Mobile Computing Geographic Maps for the Daily Living of People with Disabilities

The title of our project is Evaluating Mobile Computing Geographic Maps for the Daily Living of People with Disabilities. Our research seeks to improve the independence and mobility for higher-functioning individuals with disabilities at AHRC New York City. The mobile computing tools will help this population of individuals become involved and productive in their daily tasks. The technologies will allow someone with a disability to be participating members in the community.

I have researched several wearable devices that individuals with disabilities can engage in and reach their goal to independence. I created brochures for each device. I wrote about: what they do, the data that can be collected from them, why individuals should use it, and how AHRC would benefit, etc. The wearable devices will aid in geographic life mapping tasks, fitness, and health location tasks for people living with a disability. In addition, I sought out to find how the individual and agency can benefit from the mobile computing technology. As an individual uses the tool he or she becomes proficient, decreasing the need for a staff member’s assistance. With certain devices an individual can manage geographical boundaries, physical, and mental health; stress levels, blood pressure, monitor their steps, caloric intake, etc. The technologies will provide direction to live healthy independent lives.

I became familiar with the many wearable technologies and how they will hopefully encourage individuals to live a healthy life. Its incredible to see what wearable technologies can do and how they can change the course of someone’s health.This research so far has shown me how necessary wearable technologies are for individuals living with a disability. I am learning how powerful mobile computing tools are in helping people with disabilities. I am an advocate for the use of technology to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. I hope this research brings light to the needs of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities so that technology can serve this neglected population.