Designing augmentative and alternative communication systems that focus on real-world contexts as well as the motor, cognitive and linguistic processing of autistic children

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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems to be able to communicate their feelings, thoughts, and expressions. However, AAC systems are not being developed to focus on the complex communication needs of individuals such as the motor, cognitive , sensory needs of the users of the system. Without a focus on the complex and varying competencies of the users of the system, the technology does not perform its intended role of enhancing communication but rather places a cognitive load on the users. In this project, guidelines, and recommendations for developing a tablet-based AAC application that satisfies the complex needs of autistic children with a different ASD diagnosis would be provided. The study analyzed the user interface of Eline Speaks, a tablet based AAC system and identified the limitations, accessibility and usability issues of the system. Recommendations on developing an accessible AAC system was derived from testing a high fidelity prototype in comparison to that of Eline Speaks, an already existing system.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Computer Science, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems, April 2019
augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), human-computer interaction, "Eline Speaks", prototype development, assistive technology