Category : Niche Construction

Digital Outcasts on Technical.ly

May 16th, 2013 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Digital Outcasts on Technical.ly

The fine folks at Technically Philly have graciously allowed me a Guest Editor slot to speak about the book. It is always an honor to share touching, amusing and insightful stories of people with disabilities: a teenage music prodigy with a traumatic brain injury, a successful stand-up comedian with cerebral palsy, an employment agency that […]

The Future of Remote Patient Monitoring

June 5th, 2012 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on The Future of Remote Patient Monitoring

For all the wonderful technology that’s out there, much of it is inaccessible from the standpoint of cost, availability or awareness. How do we best utilize mobile apps and personal devices to improve health outcomes for the homebound patient?

Ten-Year-Old Creates Audio Only Game for his Blind Grandmother

April 15th, 2012 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Ten-Year-Old Creates Audio Only Game for his Blind Grandmother

Dylan Viale created an audio-only game to share his enjoyment of video games with his grandmother, who is blind.

A CSUN Preview: Gracie Asks for a Crunchie

February 26th, 2012 by Kel Smith | 1 comment

This week I’ll be presenting at the CSUN Conference for Persons with Disabilities on a topic entitled Yesterday’s Future: How the Technology of Tomorrow is Benefitting Today’s Digital Outcasts. I’m happy to have as my co-presenter the brilliant Lisa Domican, inventor of the Grace App for Autism available for iPhone and iPad. Below you’ll find […]

Blind Photographer “Sees” Through Her Pictures

January 5th, 2012 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Blind Photographer “Sees” Through Her Pictures

A legally blind photographer finds a voice and an audience through her images.

Turning the Mind into a Joystick

September 18th, 2011 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Turning the Mind into a Joystick

Today’s New York Times Magazine contains an article about a pioneering new technology that provides users a new way to interact with computers: through their thoughts rather than their eyes or fingers. Technology and innovation labs are investigating ways to use electrocorticographic (ECoG) implants in the brain to augment damaged tissue that causes seizures in […]

Children’s Book on iPad Teaches Tolerance

July 17th, 2011 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Children’s Book on iPad Teaches Tolerance

Raghava KK is the artist and author of Pop It, a new children’s book for iPad intended to teach open mindedness to toddlers. According to Mashable, the book/app delivers a message that adapts to multiple character and plot contexts. For example, characters in the book can be changed upon shaking the device to reflect different […]

Use of the iPad for Autism and Blindness

July 2nd, 2011 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Use of the iPad for Autism and Blindness

A story in this week’s Herald Sun from Melbourne, Australia described a young girl with a vision disorder who has used the Apple touch-screen tablet to improve her reading. Where Holly Bligh once used a heavy magnifying glass, she is now able to zoom and swipe to read classroom materials. Holly lives with albino nystagmus, […]

Virtual Reality Improves Social Attention in Autistic Kids

June 7th, 2011 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Virtual Reality Improves Social Attention in Autistic Kids

New research presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2011 Annual Meeting suggests that virtual reality training may improve social attention skills in school-aged children with higher-functioning autism. A pilot program outfitted 18 children with head-mounted virtual reality equipment, taking part in a virtual classroom setting with avatar “peers” who gradually faded to transparency if […]

Digital Niche Construction

May 30th, 2011 by Kel Smith | Comments Off on Digital Niche Construction

Interestingly, and perhaps ironically, people with disabilities have cultivated a sort of “digital niche construction” in order to ensure their continued survival. Similar to how a beaver builds a dam or how a bird builds a nest, digital outcasts must alter their technological environment to remain relevant in the modern ecosystem. This interregnum is where […]