Congratulations to Tara O’Neill!

elegize patternCongratulations to Tara O’Neill for her excellent presentation of her comprehensive project, titled “Investigation of Eye Gaze on AAC Visual Scene Displays with a Navigation Menu by Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down Syndrome.”  Tara used automated eye tracking technology to examine how individuals with either autism spectrum disorder or Down syndrome distributed their attention to the contents of visual scene displays (VSD), as well as how these individuals attended to a navigation menu that appeared alongside the display. 

Individuals in both groups focused primarily on the children depicted in the VSD and the activity the children were engaged in;  the navigation menu also received attention, whereas the items in the background largely did not. This work is important for helping clinicians design AAC displays that align with the ways that individuals with developmental disabilities understand and attend to visual aids.  Tara tackled an ambitious data set on a very important topic, and her work will definitely have a substantial impact on improving the design of AAC for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities! 


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