Many times each month the Seven Hills Foundation Assistive Technology (AT) program office is contacted to offer advice on what apps might be appropriate for use with the individuals they serve. Most of the staff are hesitant and lack confidence to research the apps for themselves via the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. They also rely on the opinions of AT staff and/or others who have experience using an app. Our project developed a searchable database which includes personal recommendations and comments on an app along with other pertinent information to get ideas and recommendations into the hands of the Seven Hills staff to support their clients.
The team surveyed employees to determine the types of app categories they are most interested in, and researched the best apps to fit the needs they are concerned with, among other comparisons. Ultimately, the team created a searchable and editable database for use at Seven Hills Foundation.
Seven Hills Family Services (SHFS), an Affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation, has a 60 year history of caring for people who have the ability to thrive when given the support, respect and dignity that all human beings deserve. SHFS is a non-profit multiservice organization which provides a network of services to assist individuals with developmental disabilities in developing the skills necessary to pursue interests in employment, recreation, and social interaction and in achieving their highest possible degree of personal well-being and independence. Services include Adult Day Health, Day Habilitation, Shared Living, Family Support Services, Respite Care for children and adults, Sports, Recreation & Leisure activities, and Career Development programs.
Maurice Flannery, Computer Science
Adam Moran, Interactive Media & Game Design
John Schwamb, Biomedical Engineering
Project Goals and Objectives
The goal of this project was to create an easy, accessible way for Seven Hills Foundation employees to find apps to assist with the various needs of their clients to address the problem of information overload, a phenomenon in which there are too many apps to sift through, making it difficult to recommend any one app to a client. We accomplished this goal through the following objectives:
1. Developed a methodology for finding useful apps
2. Determined a metric for ranking the quality of apps
3. Created a database for useful apps
4. Created an app to access and navigate through this database
5. Developed a manual to teach employees how to make changes to the database
Completion of this project resulted in three deliverables: a database of assistive technology apps, an interface for this database, and both a written and video tutorial on how to edit, maintain, and use the database and interface.