Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science and Statistics

Department

Computer Science and Statistics

First Advisor

Krishna Venkatasubramanian

Abstract

Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) are abused more frequently than individuals without disabilities. One potential reason for this discrepancy, is the low rate at which instances of abuse are reported by those with I/DD. It has been shown that learning about abuse and how to report it, can cause an individual with I/DD to feel more confident about reporting any future instances of abuse. Within this work a digitized version of the current in-person abuse prevention training program, called the Awareness and Action (A&A) training, is developed and evaluated. The hope is that providing an application capable of refreshing an individual's knowledge of abuse could help individuals with I/DD maintain their confidence in reporting abuse over the long term.

The resulting application is designed with the help of several individuals with I/DD through a collaborative design session. Engaging members of the community provided a variety of valuable insights that impacted the usability evaluations.

Usability evaluations were conducted remotely with six participants with I/DD. Of these six participants, five had been or were currently A&A trainers.

Through the use of collaborative design and usability evaluations, this work demonstrates that an application may indeed be an effective way of reinforcing knowledge of abuse. All participants in the usability evaluation indicated they would download and use the application; and that they would recommend others do the same.

Available for download on Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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