ATLAS is AbleLink's Accessible Testing, Learning & Assessment System, a research-based, cognitively accessible survey system that enables individuals with cognitive disabilities to complete tests and surveys in a more self-determined manner. Survey respondents navigate through the self-directed test or survey by simply responding to each question which is read to them with a natural voice, and selecting from the available responses, which can also can contain pictures and audio playback to enhance accessibility.
Survey responses are delivered to an organization's secure ATLAS account via the cloud in real-time to enable immediate access to the survey results without incurring additional costs for staff to enter the data into a database or for using a scanned data entry process. The results of individual surveys can be viewed, as well as aggregate reports. The aggregated results can also be downloaded from the secure website as a CSV data file that can be imported into Excel or SPSS (or any other data analysis software) for detailed data analysis.
ATLAS is the result of over five years of research and development focused specifically on accessible survey design for individuals with cognitive disabilities conducted in collaboration with the University of Kansas's Beach Center on Disability (www.beachcenter.org) and Westchester Institute for Human Development (www.wihd.org). References for several journal articles and other relevant publications describing the research underlying the ATLAS system are listed below.
Tanis, S., Palmer, S., Wehmeyer, M.L., Davies, D.K., Stock, S.E., Lobb, K. and Bishop, B. (2012). Self-Report Computer-based Survey of Technology Use by People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 53 - 68.
Davies, D. K. and Stock, S. E. (2011). ATLAS: An Accessible Testing, Learning and Assessment System for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities to Facilitate Inclusion and Access to the General Curriculum, Phase II Final Project Report submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Education, October 2011.
Schwartz, A.A and Davies, D.K. (2011) Surveying Self-Advocates: Using iPads Embodies Self-Determination, National Gateway to Self-Determination, Research to Practice in Self-Determination, March 2011, Page 30-32.
Davies, D. K. and Stock, S. E. (2008). ATLAS: An Accessible Testing, Learning and Assessment System for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities to Facilitate Inclusion and Access to the General Curriculum, Phase I Final Project Report submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Education, April 2008.
Davies, D.K., Stock, S.E., and Wehmeyer, M.L. (2004). Computer-mediated, self-directed computer training and skill assessment for individuals with intellectual disabilities, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 16 (1), pp. 95-105.
Stock, S.E., Davies, D.K., and Wehmeyer, M.L. (2004). Internet-Based Multimedia Tests and Surveys for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Journal of Special Education Technology, 19 (4), pp. 43-47.
Stock, S.E., Davies, D.K., Secor, R and Wehmeyer, M.L. (2003). Self-directed career preference selection for individuals with intellectual disabilities: Using computer technology to enhance self-determination, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 19 (2003), pp. 95-103.
AbleLink Technologies was founded in 1997 specifically to address the significant need for research-based cognitive support technologies for individuals with cognitive disabilities and those experiencing cognitive decline. Our team has been built purposefully with individuals representing relevant fields of expertise including human services, human factors, rehab technology, software engineering, occupational therapy, and clinical and experimental psychology. The company is headquartered in a 115-year-old Victorian home just north of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, adjacent to the campus of Colorado College. AbleLink researchers have conducted over 65 research and development projects to investigate, research, and develop technology applications for individuals with cognitive disabilities and for seniors utilizing technology to help "age in place." Our research findings demonstrating the benefits of cognitive support technologies have been published in various peer-reviewed research journals, such as the Journal of Special Education Technology, Intellectual and Developmental Disability, and the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities.