Using a Visual Assistant to Travel Alone within the City

  • Yves Lachapelle
  • Dany Lussier-Desrochers
  • Martin Caouette
  • Martin Therrien-Bélec
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6767)


Technology can provide personalized support to improve overall functioning of individuals with an intellectual disability. Among the wide diversity of available technologies, several can be specifically used to promote the emergence of self-determined behavior. These are referred to as "self-determination support technologies".  Among others, PocketPC and Smartphone applications can be use to help people traveling within a city. These applications provide step-by-step assistance along predefined routes. Consequently, the goal of our study was to adapt and field-test one of this Smartphone application (Visual Assitant). A pilot study was conducted with a 19 years old adult with Down syndrome. Main results showed that the participant was happy, excited and surprisingly confident. He only needed 3 trials to be able to use the technology to travel alone within the city. Parents and caregiver recognize the effectiveness and relevance of the technology and claimed that it can be use to assist not only with learning new travels but also to complete tasks such as house chores or work tasks.


Intellectual disability technology self-determination traveling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Lachapelle
    • 1
  • Dany Lussier-Desrochers
    • 1
  • Martin Caouette
    • 1
  • Martin Therrien-Bélec
    • 1
  1. 1.aTrois-Rivières

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