Effectiveness of a writing system using a computerized Long-Range Optical Pointer and 10-Branch Abbreviation Expansion

R. O. Smith, R. Christiaansen, B. Borden, D. Lindberg, J. Gunderson, G. Vanderheiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many individuals with limited abilities require specialized technological writing systems. These individuals and the clinicians and engineers who work with them need information regarding the effectiveness of various systems. This study developed a methodology for assessing the effectiveness of a technological writing support system and evaluated its success. The Long-Range Optical Pointer and 10-Branch Abbreviation Expansion System developed at the Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin was used. The study applied a single subject research design: a series of AB replications with naturally-occurring baselines comparing data within subjects across behavior, and across subjects. Behaviors assessed included typing rate, efficiency, and accuracy. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of this system with four individuals with severe physical disabilities and one able-bodied person. Among the data collected, typing rates were found to range from 3 to 15 words per minute, with suspected dependency on familiarity with the system. Discussion highlights the potential benefits of this system and the critical requirement to individually assess a person's needs in order to appropriately select and prescribe these types of technology. The need for further application-oriented single-subject research as well as classical human factors research is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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