Thesis Advisor:
Karrie Karahalios

Award Date:
May 13, 2012

University of Illinois
Urbana, IL


This dissertation focuses on understanding the relationship between the design of computer interfaces and individuals with an impairment. We seek to explore how knowledge of an impairment can inform the design of systems for those with the impairment and those around them. As the design space of “individuals with impairments” is quite broad, we refine our focus to individuals with communication impairments (children with autism and adults with aphasia). Specifically, this work will examine how HCI and CS techniques can impact language development , empathy and the role communication impairment has on linguistic patterns and conversation quality. Each of these broad themes (language development, linguistic patterns, and empathy/understanding) are equally important aspects of communication. Within each of these themes, technology has a powerful role to play.

Full Thesis:
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