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School of Design instructor Kazuha Kato and others develop an information communication aid system for individuals with cognitive or intellectual disabilities

As part of the collaborative research team for "the development of information communication aid systems for individuals with cognitive or intellectual disabilities" at the National Institute of advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), School of Design instructor Kazuha Kato has taken part in developing a communication tool that provides symbols to be used with individuals with cognitive or intellectual disabilities.

The symbols in this project were designed to create a new pictorial syntax with a standardized set of rules and associations that allows them to be combined like words in a sentence.

In particular, the eight hundred or so symbols specifically for use in disaster prevention were designed by actually visiting disability facilities and researching how much intellectually disabled individuals relied on the use of diagrams and such on a daily basis, revealing "why and how they behave" through observation. Giving a clear representation of the scenarios and situations in which the tool will be used, and incorporating user feedback in designing the symbols is an essential process in increasing their cognitive effectiveness and readability.


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