Using an Optic Sensor and a Scanning Keyboard Emulator to Facilitate Writing by Persons with Pervasive Motor Disabilities

  • Giulio E. Lancioni
  • Nirbhay N. Singh
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
  • Jeff Sigafoos
  • Claudia Chiapparino
  • Fabrizio Stasolla
  • Doretta Oliva
Original Article


The present two studies assessed the use of an optic sensor together with a scanning keyboard emulator to enable two young adults with pervasive motor disabilities to click keyboard keys and, as a result, write. The optic sensor used for the participant of Study 1 was a light-dependent resistor that the participant activated with his tongue. The optic sensor used for the participant of Study II was a photoelectric device mounted on an eyeglasses’ frame that the participant activated by turning her eyes. The results showed that the optic sensor together with a scanning keyboard emulator allowed the participants to write fairly satisfactorily. Writing time per letter as well as numbers of words and letters written significantly improved during intervention sessions as opposed to baseline sessions. Preference checks showed that both participants favored the optic sensor and related tongue or eye response over the technology and responses available in baseline. Moreover, teacher trainees and psychology students involved in social validation checks of the intervention program provided fairly positive ratings.


Optic sensor Scanning keyboard emulator Writing Pervasive motor disabilities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio E. Lancioni
    • 1
  • Nirbhay N. Singh
    • 2
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
    • 3
  • Jeff Sigafoos
    • 4
  • Claudia Chiapparino
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Stasolla
    • 1
  • Doretta Oliva
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.ONE Research InstituteChesterfieldUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.University of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  5. 5.Lega F. D’Oro Research CenterOsimoItaly

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