Validating Visual Eye Tracking Technology to Assess Accommodative Technology for Students with Disabilities in Undergraduate Education
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SubjectVisual Eye Tracking; Flanker Task; Eye Gaze; Students with Disabilities; Visual-based Accommodations; Neuropsychology
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2011-2012, reported that 11% of undergraduate students are identified as having a disability (i.e., 38% are enrolled in 2year vs 9.8% at 4-year institutions). Students with disabilities require support services such as accommodative technologies. However, little data exist on whether or not such technologies are sensitive to accommodating individual needs, that are tailored to specific or having multiple disabilities. There are five main categories describing students with disabilities: 1) learning disabilities (LD), 2) emotional/psychiatric conditions (EPC), 3) orthopedic/mobility impairments (EMI), 4) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (AD/HD) and 5) health impairments (HI). However, most data do not include students with multiple disabilities (MD), which is the most frequent and underserved. The literature lacks studies: 1) investigating the cognitive processing in people with multiple disabilities 2) whether technologies given to these students are beneficial; and 3) what are the educational outcomes in using such technologies. The study determined whether assessing student's visual processing abilities (i.e., eye gaze) through a 10-minute Flanker Task could be used as a predictive diagnostic tool to screen students with disabilities. The research protocol employed a triple blind procedure. Results indicate that visual eye gaze technology can detect and characterize visual processing differences in populations with LD, EPC, EMI, AD/HD, HI, and MD. Our future goal is to characterize and assess the needs of different groups of students with disabilities to identify which visual-based accommodative technologies available at our college are best matched to address their educational needs (SUNY-OW Faculty Development Grant).
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