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1 – 10 of 61
Article
Publication date: 21 July 2020

Eliada Pampoulou and Ioanna Diamanti

Graphic symbols, such as photographs, Makaton and Pics for PECS, are often used in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to support people with…

Abstract

Purpose

Graphic symbols, such as photographs, Makaton and Pics for PECS, are often used in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to support people with complex communication disorders. However, there is little research focusing on the preferences of people with disabilities in terms of which type of graphic symbol they prefer to use for their communication interactions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the symbol preferences of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those with intellectual disability. The research questions are as follows: Do people prefer coloured or black and white symbols? What type(s) of symbols do they prefer to use for their communication interactions? What type(s) of symbols do they consider more appropriate for children? What type(s) of symbols do they consider more appropriate for adults?

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire with simple instructions was used to elicit the information from the participants. Through purposive sampling, 25 participants between the ages of 20 and 32 were selected. Twelve participants had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, while the rest had mild or moderate intellectual disability.

Findings

Most of the participants preferred coloured symbols. Of all the six types of symbols, they preferred to use photographs and considered these as being the most appropriate symbols for adults, whereas, for them, Talking Mats is better for children.

Originality/value

It is vital that the voices of people with disabilities are heard and taken into account when services are to be provided.

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2018

Kunden Patel, Laura Roche, Nicola Coward, Jacqueline Meek and Celia Harding

The purpose of this paper is to present an evaluation of a programme of training and support provided to staff, which aimed to encourage supported communication…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an evaluation of a programme of training and support provided to staff, which aimed to encourage supported communication environments for people with learning disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Training, monitoring and support for communication, specifically augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies, was provided by speech and language therapy staff to two residential services over 46 weeks. Staff and service user communications were observed pre- and post-intervention.

Findings

In one provision there was an increase in service user initiations and the use of some AAC strategies by support staff. In the other provision there was no change in service user initiations and a decrease in the range of AAC strategies used. It appears that some forms for AAC remain challenging for staff to implement.

Originality/value

This evaluation explores ways of using specialist support services to improve communication environments for people with learning difficulties. Possible reasons for differences in the outcome of the intervention are discussed. Future research into the types of communication interactions experienced by people with learning disabilities across the range of communication styles may be useful so that support staff can be better helped to provide sustained and enriched communication environments.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Jonathan Hassell, Abi James, Martin Wright and Ian Litterick

The paper's aim is to focus on: two projects that investigated innovative assistive technology solutions for people who sign (uKinect) and people with print impairments…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to focus on: two projects that investigated innovative assistive technology solutions for people who sign (uKinect) and people with print impairments (MyDocStore); and a second phase that aims to create working prototypes for commercialisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was, in part, determined by the funding stages. In proof of concept phase, the organisations explored possibilities, identified barriers and, through user testing and feedback, refined processes. Trials are set to continue in Phase 2, when both projects will extend and improve functionality. uKinect applies gesture recognition and Microsoft's Kinect to the communication needs of Makaton sign language users. MyDocStore uses Cloud, desktop and mobile‐based file management to facilitate transfer of text files, converted into the user's preferred format, between devices. Both employ user‐centred development.

Findings

uKinect helped signing learners to improve the clarity of their signing, while its linking of signing with computer games encouraged non‐signing students to decide to learn. MyDocStore demonstrated the possibility of automatic conversions and identified the benefits of such a system.

Practical implications

uKinect will accommodate varying levels of signing ability. MyDocStore will enable educational establishments to provide a variety of alternative formats simultaneously.

Social implications

uKinect aims to aid the transition into independent living and employment for Makaton users with learning difficulties and autism. MyDocStore's emphasis on mobile technology, automated conversions and multi‐platforms will make print‐impaired learners more independent and productive.

Originality/value

The paper shows that both systems use easily available, existing technology to provide accessible solutions for the target communities.

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Eliada Pampoulou

Graphic symbols, such as the Picture Communication Symbols, Makaton and Widgit, have been traditionally used in the field of augmentative and alternative communication…

Abstract

Purpose

Graphic symbols, such as the Picture Communication Symbols, Makaton and Widgit, have been traditionally used in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in order to support people with little or no functional speech. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

However, given the fact that the terminology remains contested in the existing literature as well as the multidisciplinary nature surrounding graphic symbols, in more recent years and the number of terms used in different fields, it is vital that the terminology of graphic symbols is revisited again.

Findings

In the last section of the paper, a definition of graphic symbols is proposed.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in the fact that while field of graphic symbols have been used in the AAC for more than 30 years, there is still no consensus regarding the meaning of the terminology used.

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Rachel Worthington

The purpose of this paper is to explore to what extent neuro-typical theories of sexual offending apply to clients with Levels 2 and 3 autism with a co-morbid intellectual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore to what extent neuro-typical theories of sexual offending apply to clients with Levels 2 and 3 autism with a co-morbid intellectual disability (ID). The paper develops a model of harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) for this client group and makes suggestions for how these behaviours can be understood and reduced.

Design/methodology/approach

The revised Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending (ITSO) (Ward and Beech, 2016) is used as a starting framework to understand HSB in this client group. This attends to specific neuropsychological systems, brain development, motivation and emotional processing.

Findings

The revised ITSO has some utility in understanding HSB in this client group. This is improved when neuro-atypical specific state factors are identified. Practical ways of establishing these state factors are made which attend to the function of the behaviour in line with “Good Lives” model of rehabilitation.

Research limitations/implications

Recommendations for ways in which the function of HSB in this client group can be identified are made as well as recommendations for how treatment can be tailored dependent on the function of behaviour in this client group.

Practical implications

The paper makes practical recommendations for how interventions for people with ID and autism in line with Ward, Clack and Haig’s (2016) Abductive Theory of Method which noted that interventions should be adopted to consider wider explanations for offending thus acknowledging that treatment could extend beyond cognitive behavioural therapy for clinical phenomena. Future treatments for clients with autism and LD are suggested which attend to sensory needs, teaching alternative communication strategies for seeking out “deep pressure” or attention in ways that do not involve sexual offending, using picture communication, information technology or Makaton to communicate needs or using social stories to explain the consequences of behaviour. In addition, neuro-atypical interventions which attend to the neuropsychological functioning of clients could also be included in treatment for neuro-typical clients, thus ensuring that interventions attend to every aspect of the ITSO and not purely clinical phenomena.

Social implications

Enhancing treatment interventions for clients with ID and autism could both reduce risk and enhance quality of life for this client group.

Originality/value

Much of the work to date exploring HSB in clients with autism has attended to clients with Level 1 autism or those without an additional ID. This paper provides practitioners with a theory upon which to understand HSB in clients with a dual diagnosis of Levels 2/3 autism and an ID as well as practical recommendations for reducing HSB in this client group.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Eliada Pampoulou

The ongoing development of new graphic symbol sets in conjunction with a lack of literature supporting professionals in choosing the optimum set(s) for their users was the…

Abstract

Purpose

The ongoing development of new graphic symbol sets in conjunction with a lack of literature supporting professionals in choosing the optimum set(s) for their users was the driving force behind this research project. The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that professionals take into consideration when they choose one graphic symbol set instead of another.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the phenomenology of pedagogy, semi-structured interviews were used with three speech and language therapists (SLTs), three special education teachers, one teacher for pupils with hearing loss, one foundation year teacher and one SENCo/deputy head teacher. Thematic analysis was used to process the data.

Findings

The results have shown that when professionals choose a graphic symbol set for their user(s), they focus on the iconicity, the software availability and its features. They are also influenced by any existing graphic symbol policies in the area they work. Training and follow-up support also influence professionals’ experiences when choosing graphic symbol sets for their users.

Practical implications

Given the limited literature pertaining to the topic of this paper, it is proposed that further research is conducted in order to build the theoretical and practical frameworks upon which professionals (such as SLTs and teachers), symbols developers and academics can base their future work.

Originality/value

This research aims to contribute to the scant literature regarding the factors that SLTs take into consideration when choosing a graphic symbol set for their user(s).

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 December 2009

Dave Dagnan, Karen Mellor and Claire Jefferson

There is increasing use of cognitive therapy with people with learning disabilities. This paper gives a detailed description of a clinically useful assessment approach…

299

Abstract

There is increasing use of cognitive therapy with people with learning disabilities. This paper gives a detailed description of a clinically useful assessment approach that gives the therapist information that can be used to identify the appropriate approach to therapy.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-0180

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Pauline Heslop, Liz Folkes and Jackie Rodgers

Psychotropic medications are a treatment commonly used for people with learning disabilities. Legislation and guidance suggest that, for a person to give informed consent…

Abstract

Psychotropic medications are a treatment commonly used for people with learning disabilities. Legislation and guidance suggest that, for a person to give informed consent to treatment, they must have knowledge of the potential treatment. This study of 21 people with learning disabilities, and their carers and prescribers, living in four different regions of England, suggests that few of the people with learning disabilities were fully informed about their treatment. Many of their carers said that although they knew how to administer the medication, they knew little about why the person was taking it and what the implications might be. Despite this, people with learning disabilities made the general assumption that carers would, or should, know everything about their medication. The current provision of information to people with learning disabilities and carers was found to be poor. Four key strategies identified in supporting people with learning disabilities in obtaining information about medication were spending more time providing and reiterating key information, providing accurate, up‐to‐date, accessible information about medications, providing training for carers in wider aspects of medication usage, and tailoring information to each person's individual needs.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

Article
Publication date: 20 October 2014

Tina Byrom and Verity Aiken

Work-based learning (WBL) is increasingly viewed as important in students’ higher education (HE) experiences. Drawing from the process of revalidating a Joint Honours in…

Abstract

Purpose

Work-based learning (WBL) is increasingly viewed as important in students’ higher education (HE) experiences. Drawing from the process of revalidating a Joint Honours in Education (JHE) programme, the purpose of this paper is to highlight challenges involved in ensuring a meaningful placement experience for students that is fully embedded within their course. Primary challenges included the disparate number of subject strand combinations and concomitant career aspirations, wider university requisites on developing Graduate Attributes and student expectations of their placement opportunities. In broadening the scope and number of placement opportunities, the authors simultaneously increased the partnership links with employers to attract increased student buy-in to the opportunities available to them.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study utilizes staff reflections, stakeholder contributions and student evaluations to illuminate the process involved in revalidating a JHE programme to incorporate increased placement opportunities. A particular focus is placed on consideration of the tensions inherent within WBL opportunities and the ways in which such experiences can be successfully embedded within a HE degree programme. Whilst the authors are able to report on successful integration of placement opportunities in Year 1, the authors utilize student perspectives to gain understanding of the importance, or otherwise, they place on placements through the duration of their degree.

Findings

Whilst placements are widely accepted as a positive feature of HE, inherent tensions emerged from some students who questioned the value and purpose of placements and time away from university. Conversely, employers saw placement and particularly the assessment of students whilst on placement as critical in students’ development into professional workers. The inclusion of placements in HE is therefore problematic, particularly in light of increased tuition fees. This case study, however, suggests that meaningful and disparate placement opportunities can be successfully embedded within each year of an HE degree programme and can be viewed as enhancing the student academic experience.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is located within a body of research that focuses positively on placement/WBL opportunities for undergraduate students, but does raise some emerging tensions linked to the marketization of HE and resulting student perspectives on “value”. Although generic themes can be applied to curriculum design elsewhere, outcomes may be different and linked to differing institutional habituses that influence practice. In addition, this paper reports solely on a single case that has developed a degree course to support the unique needs of its students within a particular context.

Practical implications

The WBL model presented here facilitates student empowerment in tailoring their degree to their interests and career aspirations. It requires effective internal and external partnerships to inform curriculum design and the organization of placements. This paper will therefore be of interest to HE practitioners who are faced with the challenges of providing a broad range of placement opportunities for large and diverse groups of students with differing career aspirations. In addition, it will also be attractive to employers that have strong links with universities and are in the position to influence curriculum design.

Social implications

The focus on employability and the development of key generic skills is interconnected with structures influencing social mobility. The range of students entering HE and the concomitant expectations on their degree to have “value” in the employment “market” on graduation is becoming increasingly important – particularly for students categorized as widening participation. Offering increased opportunities for placements and linking assessment to work-based competencies can therefore be viewed as an integral part of HE's responsibilities to students.

Originality/value

This case study highlights the versatility of WBL that on one hand, requires the academy to embrace alternatives ways of learning, but on the other hand, creates new and innovative ways of engaging students. In addition and critically, it illuminates an approach to embedding WBL into an overarching degree structure that enables students to tailor their degree to their interests and career aspirations.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Suzannah Gratton

A review of the literature regarding the use of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) of 2005 with young people with intellectual disability indicated an absence of publications…

388

Abstract

Purpose

A review of the literature regarding the use of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) of 2005 with young people with intellectual disability indicated an absence of publications on this topic, yet clinical practice suggests that services are grappling with complex issues in this area. This article aims to focus on the principles of the MCA and to explore its application to young people with intellectual disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The key principles of the MCA are reviewed and its application to young people with intellectual disability are explored through case studies.

Findings

The MCA is applicable to 16‐18 year olds with intellectual disability and services require training and support in its implementation. Issues of adaptation of communication to convey complex matters and appropriate preparation for assessment are especially pertinent.

Originality/value

The article explores the application and relevance of the MCA to young people with intellectual disability in clinical practice.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

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