Digital Storyteller: a Cognitively Accessible Literary Compositioning Tool
Award last edited on: 12/30/2014

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code

Principal Investigator
Daniel K Davies

Company Information

AbleLink Technologies Inc

6745 Rangewood Drive Suite 210
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
   (719) 572-0347
Location: Single
Congr. District: 05
County: El Paso

Phase I

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
There are a significant number of people in the U.S. whose literacy deficits significantly limit opportunities for written self-expression, including individuals with intellectual disabilities. While this population can offer revealing insights given their unique perspectives, self-expression often occurs in the dependent context of transcription by another person, or, perhaps too often, not at all. To address this issue, this project proposes to design, develop and test a universally designed digital story telling (DST) application designed to provide a format for independent self-expression and documentation. The system will provide system generated prompts to guide the user through a simplified process for recording, saving, organizing, retrieving, and distributing user-authored multimedia documents. Unlike the limited existing systems that provide proprietary outputs, the DST system output will be in the form of universally sharable video formats such as MPEG-4 (e.g., mp4) which is supported in iPad, Android and Windows environments. In Phase I we will determine the feasibility of the approach for providing a format to allow students with intellectual disabilities to independently create, save, and share a series of personal digital stories in comparison to one or more mainstream multimedia documentation systems.

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
Students and adults with intellectual and other cognitive disabilities have a critical need for accessible technologies that can enable them to speak for themselves in all arenas of life, including academic settings, vocational settings, for leisure activities and for therapeutic purposes. There are, however, a significant number of people in the U.S. whose literacy deficits effectively prohibit opportunities for written self expression, including millions with cognitive disabilities. In this project we will design, develop and evaluate a universally designed multimedia compositioning tool, called Digital Storyteller (DST). In Phase I a limited prototype of DST was developed and evaluated in a pilot study with 17 study participants with intellectual disabilities. The results of the Phase I project demonstrated the technical merit and feasibility of the DST approach for providing a platform for individuals with intellectual disabilities to more independently create multimedia compositions when compared to two leading mainstream compositing tools. In Phase II we will expand the system to develop and test specialized modules of the system that will be optimized for specific outputs, such as Book Report, Short Answer, Essay, Activity Reporting, Therapy Journal, Diary Keeping, Web Log, Storytelling or Memoir modules, and evaluate the usability and efficacy of the system for increasing literary output.