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Supplementing Ability Messaging for Young People with Disabilities

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236326D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-21
Document File: 6 page(s) / 272K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed are a Supplementing Ability Method and system to facilitate the involvement of young people with disabilities (YPD) in online communications. The system assumes the role of a friend in the online community and conducts a one-on-one conversation with the YPD using system-generated messages with appropriate simplicity, until the user is comfortable moving to a conversation with a live person.

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Supplementing Ability Messaging for Young People with Disabilities

Children or young adults with disabilities often have difficulty integrating into online social communities due to a number of inhibitors. Users have a moderate or slow pace in responding to instant messages because of immobility or mental inability . Users have a limited ability to construct messages with proper syntax and/or semantics required for normal communications, and/or comprehending messages with complex structure and meanings. The ability to stay focused in a group conversation or to follow multiple threads of conversation is limited. In addition, a perception exists that few people in the online communities are willing to communicate disabled users. This inhibitor further affects the confidence and self -esteem of the young people with disabilities. Finally, communication is difficult due to the limited human resources available for providing one -on-one assistance to people with disabilities in using online devices to communicate.

The system and method devised in this solution supplements the abilities of disabled youth , enabling individuals to overcome the described inhibitors and integrate into social communities.

The system allows young people with disabilities (YPD) to gain online messaging experience in a way suitable to individual capabilities. The system allow YPDs to become involved in mutual communications and eventually connect to people in the social communities who share similar interests and feel comfortable in one-on-one conversations with the YPD.

The system assumes the role of a friend in the online community and conducts a one -on-one conversation with the YPD using system-generated messages with appropriate simplicity. The messages are constructed in such a way that it only expects either a positive response (e.g., Yes, or tapping on the mobile device) or a negative response (e.g., No, or shaking of the device). Depending on the response, the system dynamically composes the next message, and guides the conversation flow from topic to topic. At appropriate points, the system encourages the user to connect to other online users with similar topics of interest . If the user is not ready or willing to connect with another user, the system continues to message with the user as a friend until the user terminates the conversation.

The system also allows administrator users (e.g., health professionals, parents, caregivers, etc.) to enter or update the pre-defined message elements and flow segments based on an initial understanding of the user's interests as well as to adapt to the needs of specific YPD groups (e.g., children with Autism).

A distinguishing factor of this solution is that it is not meant to diagnose, analyze, or arrive at any conclusion to recommend a course of treatment. Instead, the solution is focused on empowering and enabling the individual to engage with the external world


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at an individual comfort level,...