Systematic Evaluation of Current Control Devices Used by People With Intellectual Disabilities in Non-Immersive Virtual EnvironmentsBy Standen, P.J., BSc, PhD; Brown, D.J., MEng, PhD; Anderton, N., BA; Battersby, BSc; CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 5, pp. 608-613
Publication Date: October 2006
Study conducted to evaluate the accessibility of devices designed for interacting with virtual environments for people with intellectual disabilities. Virtual environments can be particularly useful in teaching daily living skills to this population, as they can improve cognitive skills and provide entertainment. The problem is that the currently recommended devices that allow for navigation and interaction with virtual environments, such as joysticks and mouse interfaces, can be very challenging to access for people with intellectual disabilities. A total of 40 people ages 21 to 67 with severe intellectual disabilities participated in the study. Four virtual environments were created in order to evaluate standard interfaces, including: (1) mouse, (2) joystick, and (3) keyboard interfaces. The participants used the devices for a period lasting up to 30 minutes once each week, while each session was recorded on videotapes. The amount of physical assistance provided by researchers was documented from the videotapes. The results indicated that the mouse was easier to use than the joystick, though the joystick performed better than the keyboard. The authors contend that preventing slippage of the joystick base could make it easier to use. Implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: Mary Ann Liebert Publishers, Incorporated (Website:http://www.liebertpub.com)