Symbol Surfing

Symbol

The Symbol Surfing project was a research project looking at ways that freely available symbol recognition software on computers can benefit people with learning disabilities. The project was led by The Rix Centre Charity and made possible through a grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The most important part is how this changes things for someone with a learning disability when they use the computer. We worked with organisations who work with people with learning disabilities in a range of settings to see how useful these tools were in real world settings, and what benefits they could bring.

The Symbol Surfing project is looking at ways that freely available symbol recognition software on computers can benefit people with learning disabilities.

The most important part is how this changes things for someone with a learning disability when they use the computer, but we are also looking at what is technically possible. From these two strands we are producing examples of ways of using this technology and testing it with people. We are working with organisations who work with people with learning disabilities in a range of settings to see how useful is is in real world settings, and what benefits it may bring.

The examples arose out of our frustrations in situations where we were trying to do things with people. They seemed to work well, so we looked at developing them further, and spreading them wider.

We are interested in participatory, action based models of research, and as part of this are making the software that we are working with available for anyone to use. The pages here have links to what we are using, and instructions on how to set everything up.

This project is possible thanks to a grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.