Evaluating a GPS-Based Transportation Device to Support Independent Bus Travel by People With Intellectual DisabilityBy Davies, Daniel K.; Stock, Steven E.; Holloway, Shane; Wehmeyer, Michael L.; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 48, No. 6, pp. 454-463
Publication Date: December 2010
Study evaluated the efficacy of a GPS-enabled device designed specifically to support independent transportation and bus use by people with intellectual disability. The device used in the study was a cognitively accessible GPS-based software prototype called WayFinder. It was designed to integrate with a Windows mobile-based handheld computer to facilitate travel within a public transit system. Multiple travel routes or GPS based instruction sets can be programmed into the device to provide personalized travel instructions. For the study, a single bus route was programmed into the WayFinder. Participants were 14 women and 9 men, aged 18 to 49 years, who received support services through public school transition programs or developmental disability agencies. Those who used the system were significantly more successful in completing the bus route than were participants in a control group, who used a map and verbal directions. In addition, when using the GPS-based system, 73 percent of participants in the experimental group successfully rang the bell and exited the bus at the right stop, compared with only 8 percent of those in the control group. This finding was observed when participants attempted to follow the bus route for the first time and get off the bus at a previously unknown location. Study limitations and implications for further trials with the WayFinder are discussed.
Published by: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Website:http://www.aamr.org)