Assistive Technology Exploration and Training Center

Period of Performance: 06/04/2001 - 05/31/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Orcca Technology, Inc.
Lexington, KY 40507
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Applicant's Abstract): This project will design, develop, and evaluate an interactive multimedia program to provide information and training on assistive technology. In order to match an individual who has a disability with the appropriate assistive technology, it is necessary that all individuals involved have knowledge and skills related to characteristics and operation of the technology. This program will allow the user to obtain information and training on: 1) defining features and technical characteristics of a selection of categories of assistive technology; 2) basic principles of operation of these devices and systems; 3) technical requirements and compatibility information needed to interface/integrate the devices and systems; and, 4) potential applications and typical uses of these devices and systems. The program will use a metaphor of a community-based Assistive Technology (AT) Center. Within the AT Center will be four rooms each dedicated to a specific area of assistive technology: Adaptive Computer Technology Room, Communication Technology Room, Environmental Adaptations Room, and Mobility and Seating Room. Within each room, the user will be presented with a selection of 3D images depicting a representative set of assistive technology devices and systems. Interactive multimedia will provide an opportunity to learn about this assistive technology, using a unique set of presentation technologies which will enhance the learning experience through: interactive user control of the program content and sequence of presentation; viewing high-resolution photographic images and 3D objects; viewing 3D animations of device configuration and functioning; user manipulation and three-dimensional viewing of both modeled representations and photographs of real devices using QuickTime VR technology (Apple Computer); digital video presentation of device configuration and potential uses; access to the Internet for more information about specific products and program updates; summaries of information that can be sent to a printer; user-controlled, operational simulations of a selection of assistive devices and systems; and embedded competency assessment. The program will provide a low-cost, convenient and effective alternative for the many individuals who need information and training on the operation and uses of assistive technology devices and systems but do not have access to the required assistive technology expertise or equipment. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The commercial potential for this program is indicated by: (1) large numbers of individuals with disabilities; (2) many organizations and agencies who are mandated to provide assistive technology services; 3) many university training programs in special education, allied health sciences, engineering, rehabilitation counseling, medicine and nursing; (4) the growing need for inservice training and information; (5) many facilities such as assistive technology centers, libraries, and public computer access laboratories. This list, and the demographic information given below, indicates that there exists a large professional, institutional and organizational market for this product.