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With An Eye to the Future

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2008: Information Technology Insights for Youth Focus Groups

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities was interested in exploring the accessibility, usability, current and future needs, requirements, and expectations of youth with and without disabilities regarding Information Technology.

In May 2008, Quality Culture Institute carried out the research by conducting six focus groups, and utilizing worksheets as homework, followed by discussion time. Focus groups were convened with groups ranging from 10 to 30 students of classmates and friends; 88 students in total. Groups represented elementary, middle school and high school. There were 70 students with a wide range of disabilities and 18 students without disabilities.

Surprisingly, the research indicated that there were no differences in use of technology between students with and without disabilities. Several topics were rated as important now or would be in the future: (1) geographic mapping would be improved, (2) all libraries would be available online, (3) universities and colleges should share their curricula and be available for free, (4) cell phones would merge with computer functions and hold medical information and banking chips.

Also interesting, youth with disabilities strongly disagreed that robots could ever become Personal Care Assistants.

Basic Rights
Nate Allard's career goal is working in the gaming industry.