Computer usage by children with down syndrome: Challenges and future research

Jinjuan Feng, Jonathan Lazar, Libby Kumin, Ant Ozok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Children with Down syndrome, like neurotypical children, are growing up with extensive exposure to computer technology. Computers and computer-related devices have the potential to help these children in education, career development, and independent living. Our understanding of computer usage by this population is quite limited. Most of the software, games, and Web sites that children with Down syndrome interact with are designed without consideration of their special needs, making the applications less effective or completely inaccessible. We conducted a large-scale survey that collected computer usage information from the parents of approximately six hundred children with Down syndrome. This article reports the text responses collected in the survey and is intended as a step towards understanding the difficulties children with Down syndrome experience while using computers. The relationship between the age and the specific type of difficulties, as well as related design challenges are also reported. A number of potential research directions and hypotheses are identified for future studies. Due to limitations in survey methodology, the findings need to be further validated through hypothesis-driven, empirical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1714460
JournalACM Transactions on Accessible Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Computer use
  • Down syndrome
  • Human-computer interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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