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Next Steps

Next Steps focuses on what exciting tech solutions are being developed that may provide greater supports for people with cognitive disabilities.


Simplified Text for People with Cognitive Disabilities

We’re excited about the possibility of the web becoming more accessible for people with cognitive disabilities.  At the recent Annual Conference of the Boston Accessibility Group, we were impressed by a presentation led by John Rochford, an IT expert at the UMass Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center.  He is leading a research team that that includes IBM and Worcester Polytechnic Institute that will use the power of the IBM Watson supercomputer to simplify web text for people with intellectual disabilities, making it more understandable and accessible. The team demonstrated how a section of complicated text is converted in real-time to a simpler format that preserves the meaning of the piece.

Just think about the many uses of this technology!

This software engine could be used by a developer to create an application that takes an e-book text used in schools and converts it into simpler text that is more accessible to a student with learning difficulties. Complex online documents from government agencies targeted at people with disabilities could be simplified and made more understandable.

Learn More

We’re pleased to announce that John Rochford has agreed to be a presenter at our May 19, 2017 Conference, “Tech Supports for Cognition and Learning: Everyday Apps and Emerging Trends.”

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