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Senior Project - MindTouch


Computer Assistant for a Person with Autism

Senior Project: 1998-1999
Steve Bjorg, Aaron Hart, Patrick Link and Miranda Walton
Boulder, CO

TC's Community, a local non-profit organization funded by the Developmental Disabilities Center (DDC) of Boulder, consists of family, house staff, and a Board of Directors that collectively provide care and management for an autistic woman named Teresa. The community is organized to assist Teresa with living in her own home. The house staff contributes to taking care of the house, guiding Teresa in daily routines, and participating with Teresa in activities for both work and recreation.

Teresa does not communicate verbally. Interaction with Teresa is heavily oriented towards visual depiction, often using pictures and diagrams. In addition, Teresa is accustomed to making decisions based on a consistent set of options. Consequently, the Community believed a computer system would be ideal for establishing a consistent communication medium with Teresa, allowing her to perform many daily activities more independently. This project was centered around this idea and is intended to facilitate assistance for Teresa.

The principal feature of the system is a specialized user interface that includes touch-screens, picture prompting, and verbal audio messages. Teresa can guide herself through many daily routines with simple prompting through a sequence of pictures and verbal instructions from the computer system, making responses herself by pressing pictures on the touch-screen. The system also provides the house staff and system administrator the flexibility of modifying the activities and picture sequences, for example, introducing a new dinner menu from which Teresa may select for meal preparation. The system was developed in Visual Basic using an Access database.

Administrator Interface
Administrator Interface
Staff Interface
Staff Interface
User Interface
User Interface
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Department of Computer Science
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Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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