Usability of the SAFEWAY2SCHOOL system in children with cognitive disabilities

Publisher's full text
Torbjörn Falkmer
Chiara Horlin
Joakim Dahlman
Tania Barnett

SAFEWAY2SCHOOL is a programme based on several systems for the enhancement of school transportation safety for children. The aim of the study was to explore whether children with cognitive disabilities will notice, realise, understand, trust and accept the SAFEWAY2SCHOOL system and act in accordance with its instructions. Methods: Fourteen children with cognitive disabilities and a control group of 23 children were shown five videos of scenarios involving journeys to and from school. During the first viewing visual scanning patterns were recorded with an eye tracking device. After a second viewing the participant was asked ten questions per scenario. Five questions addressed what the children saw on the video, and the remaining five what they would need to know and/or do within the scenario. Additional ratings of trust, likability, acceptability and usability were also collected. Results: Very few differences were found in the visual scanning patterns of children with disabilities compared to children who participated in the control group. Of the 50 questions regarding what children saw or needed to know and/or do, only one significant difference between groups was found. No significant differences were found regarding self-reported ratings of trust, acceptability or usability of the system. Despite some significant differences across five of the 11 likability aspects, ratings were consistently high for both groups. Conclusions: Children with cognitive disabilities proved that the SAFEWAY2SCHOOL system is as useful for them as it was for children in the control group. However, a valid estimation of the full utility of SAFEWAY2SCHOOL requires in situ testing of the system with these children. © 2013 The Author(s).

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