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ITU Workshop on Accessibility/Atelier UIT sur l’accessibilité Bamako, Mali 13 – 15 October 2009. Multi-tools in My Pocket: In-Class Use of Mobile Phones for Children with Disabilities. Kenryu Nakamura Mamoru Iwabuchi Takeo Kondo RCAST, University of Tokyo, Japan Yasutaka Natsuka

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multi tools in my pocket in class use of mobile phones for children with disabilities

ITU Workshop on Accessibility/Atelier UIT sur l’accessibilitéBamako, Mali 13 – 15 October 2009

Multi-tools in My Pocket:In-Class Use of Mobile Phones for Children with Disabilities

Kenryu Nakamura

Mamoru Iwabuchi

Takeo Kondo

RCAST, University of Tokyo, Japan

Yasutaka Natsuka

Midori Umehara

SoftBank Corp., Japan

slide2

What is RCAST?

  • Stands for “Research Center for Advanced Science
  • and Technology”
  • Interdisciplinary team conducting barrier-free
  • research
  • About 20 members, including 7 staff with,
  • disabilities, specialized in engineering, disability
  • study, education, psychology, and sociology
  • Project leader Prof. Satoshi Fukushima is deaf-blind
slide4

2. Present situation of special education

in Japan

Number of schools (number of students)

Special schools 1,030 (117,000)

Elementary schools 22,258 (7,064,000)

Junior high schools 10,864 (3,600,000)

680,000 students have learning difficulties in regular classrooms of elementary and junior high.

slide5

In today’s special education

  • Self-effort is expected
  • Many teachers and parents are reluctant
  • to use assistive technology
    • - Rehabilitation and education might be delayed
    • - Special technology is expensive
    • - Negative feeling to partiality
  • Limited/no accommodation
  • → Low transition rate to higher education
  • Low employment rate
  • → Refuse going to school
  • Delinquency
slide6

3. Potential of mobile phones

  • as a tool in special education
  • Widely used and easy to get
  • Many people always carry with them
  • Can run on batteries during in-class use
  • Needs little space on the desk
  • Many useful features for educational settings
  • are built-in
slide7

4. Technology not in use

Regardless of the type of disabilities, technology can be a solution to overcome difficulties

For example, taking a note is difficult for a person

with physical disability

who is deaf or hard of hearing

who is blind or have low vision

with intellectual disability

with developmental disability

→ Recording device/function can cover all the

disabilities above in that situation

But it is not commonly recognized. Teachers and parents tend to treat disability with trainings rather than compensate disability using technology.

slide8

5. Anxiety toward mobile phones among school teachers and administrators

They tend to restrict the use of mobile phones among children in order to avoid their access to unwanted information.

Year 2008: Japanese government proposed “no mobile phones for elementary school pupils” to prevent harmful information to them

Year 2009 (June): Children’s act (revised) in Ishikawa, Japan:

Parents and family are asked to prohibit school-age children (age under 15) from using mobile phones except for the cases of the prevention against disaster and crimes, or other special cases.

Government survey (Dec. 2008) showed over 90% of elementary/junior high schools prohibit students’ use of mobile phones at school

slide9

6. Technology bringing out children’s

  • potential
  • Meets a autistic boy Aki in 1995
  • Non-speaking, difficult to have an eye contact, and difficult to communicate
  • Aki can communicate using a PDA, a pager, or a mobile phone
  • Aki often finds text-based instructions easier than oral instructions
  • His independent living was supported by IT devices including calculators and electronic dictionaries
  • → But dealing with many devices was troublesome
slide10

7. Project overview

  • Purpose
  • Collecting information about good use of mobile phones for children with disabilities in their learning and daily lives, and creating a textbook about the good use of it
  • (2) Method
  • Five areas in Japan are chosen for the experiment.
  • Mobile phone are provided and used by elementary, junior high, and special school children with disabilities in their classes.
  • Period: June – September, 2009
slide11

(3)Cases

Child A (intellectual disability)

Child A onetime forgot getting off the train and lost his way to school. He handed his mobile phone to a stranger and the person could call and ask the child’s family to pick him up. Mobile phone can give a sense of security to this child and his family and enables the child to go to school independently.

Child B (dysgraphia)

Memo features of mobile phones enables her to write in a proper manner and helped to build her self-confidence.

slide12

Child C (autism)

Child C was often panicked due to his time insensitivity; he did not understand how long he had to wait or be in class even the number of minutes left was told. Graphical timer of a mobile phone helped him to understand time.

Child D (autism)

It was difficult for Child D to explain his idea verbally. He then used a mobile phone to take pictures of what he liked and wanted to do. The pictures were shown to his classmates. The device helped him to enrich his communication with friends.

slide13

Child E (Muscular Dystrophy)

Child E was not able to use printed dictionary due to his motor disability.But, he could access to electronic dictionary in mobile phone.

slide14

8. Future plan

Create a textbook and hold seminars for teachers and parents in Japan.

Conduct research into the use of existing and generally available mainstream technology

Conducting Research of attitude toward use of mobile phone in school

Translate the textbook into English

ict accessibility project from 2004 2007 in japan
ICT accessibility project from 2004-2007 in Japan
  • Windows OS includes many useful features for PWD that accords with Rehabilitation Act of the US
  • However, these features do not attract a good deal of attention in the US and UK
    • Active AT market by third party companies
    • Support for AT provision based on insurance system
  • Limited/No support for AT provision in many countries in Asian-Pacific area

→Widespread use of accessibility features of PC

slide16
Over 1,000 participants, mainly school teachers, have been trained in Japan
  • Microsoft Asia supported the English translation of the textbooks
  • Seminars conducted for Asian countries

→ A scheme for AT provision

ICT Accessibility Textbook

slide17
Contact address:

kenryu@bfp.rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp