RERC research highlighted in Penn State News

Koons, S. (2021, April 18). New technology helps people with disabilities navigate grocery shopping. Penn State News,

A recent article in the Penn State news highlighted RERC on AAC research, including the work of graduate students Sojung Jung and Ciara Ousley. As noted in the article

“Video VSDs are an exciting new tool to increase participation and communication in community-based settings for individuals with disabilities,” McNaughton said. “In the coming years we will investigate how to further develop and support widespread use of these powerful assistive technologies.”

In the context of grocery shopping, the Video VSD intervention works by walking the individual through the shopping process using a clear video demonstration of the needed skills. The technology is especially attuned to supporting communication while grocery shopping, McNaughton said, which is a crucial part of ensuring a positive shopping experience.

Sojung Jung and Ciara Ousley, doctoral candidates in EPCSE, recently completed a study related to this work that examined the use of the Video VSD app by an adult with Down syndrome while shopping in a grocery store. Jung and McNaughton said they are excited about the results they have seen in the grocery store and other settings.

“I’m interested in how assistive technology can support participation and communication in community activities for individuals with disabilities,” said Jung. “And grocery shopping is a critically important life skill for our self-sufficiency, nutrition and health.”

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