Computer Usage by Young Individuals With Down Syndrome: An Exploratory Study

1) Jinjuan Feng, Jonathan Lazar, Libby Kumin, and 2) Ant Ozok


1) Loyola College, Baltimore, USA
2) UMBC, Baltimore, USA


In this paper, we discuss the results of an online survey that investigates how children and young adults with Down syndrome use computers and computer-related devices. The survey responses cover 561 individuals with Down syndrome between the age of four to 21. The survey results suggest that the majority of the children and young adults with Down syndrome can use the mouse to interact with computers, which requires spatial, cognitive, and fine motor skills that were previously believed to be quite challenging for individuals with Down syndrome. The results show great difficulty in text entry using keyboards. Young individuals with Down syndrome are using a variety of computer applications and computer related devices, and computers and computer-related devices play important roles in the life of individuals with Down syndrome. There appears to be great potential in computer-related education and training to broaden existing career opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome, and there needs to be further research on this topic.

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