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Section: New Results

Analysis of How People with Intellectual Disabilities Organize Information Using Computerized Guidance

Access to residential settings for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) contributes to their social participation, but presents particular challenges. Assistive technologies can help people perform activities of daily living. However, the majority of the computerized solutions offered use guidance modes with a fixed, unchanging sequencing that leaves little room for self-determination to emerge. The objective of the project was to develop a flexible guidance mode and to test it with participants, to describe their information organization methods. This research used a descriptive exploratory design and conducted a comparison between five participants with ID and five participants with no ID. The results showed a difference in the information organization methods for both categories of participants. The people with ID used more diversified organization methods (categorical, schematic, action-directed) than the neurotypical participants (visual, action-directed). These organization methods varied depending on the people, but also on the characteristics of the requested task. Furthermore, several people with ID presented difficulties when switching from virtual to real mode. These results demonstrate the importance of developing flexible guidance modes adapted to the users’ cognitive strategies, to maximize their benefits. Studies using experimental designs will have to be conducted to determine the impacts of more-flexible guidance modes.