"Many times have I said that Stig Nilsson probably is the differently abled man in Sweden who has been trained the most. If you are as handicapped as he is, you can probably not develop yourself any further, I have said. Now when I met him again I got the opportunity to see that he had developed a lot more. On the whole I had not been able to imagine that the differently abled at "Tryckolera" would have developed their personal development and pride that much."
Inga Richard-Olsson, keeper(nurse) within the welfare
A lot of expressions exist around the relationship between man - technology, that can easily put your thoughts in the wrong direction. "The human factor" is a typical one - imagine that mankind could come up with the idea to, in a world she has divided into factors (economic, technological, social etc.), introduce herself as a factor!. Besides, always as a factor that is negative.
It is said that it is the human factor that makes us drive off the road. It is strange that someone never says that it is the human factor that every twenty-four hours
There exist mind-traps that are verbalised in new expressions, for example "inhuman technology" and "MMI, Man Machine Interaction". But technology is never human or inhuman. People have wishes and needs; technology has not. It gives possibilities. Instead of speaking of a meeting between man - technology, you should think about the meeting between human needs and wishes and technological possibilities. Instead of looking at it as humans who are making mistakes in their technological surroundings you can start to analyse how our technological surrounding is based upon erroneous or vague conceptions of human needs and wishes. Because technology affects more and more, this will be not only a growing but a different phenomenon.
When electric ovens first were manufactured it was understood that this was something for every housewife. Then came the book "electric cookery book". It was good then. We now live in an everyday-life that is highly technological but most people have problems with setting their watches when it is time for the summer-time-circus.
Besides better manuals we should now, a bit in to the IT-era, develop a wide and overarching knowledge about technology-use. The bottleneck in the technology-world is no longer construction or production, not even marketing - the bottleneck is the technology-use and attitudes towards technology.
Technological aids for functional-disabled people often awaken strong but opposite
feelings to different persons. If you say that seriously disabled persons can handle a
robot and thus eat by themselves, there are always a few in the auditorium that will be
upset about this "inhuman" way to treat people, while others will be overjoyed
and want to know where you can buy this robot, and what it costs etc. These opposite
attitudes are something that belongs to the age in which we live and that we have to live
with. This is why we have to discuss, or at least describe them, so we can understand each
A couple of statements about the conflicts between people and technology are shown
below. The relationship between mankind - technology can just as well be analysed from the
angle of possibilities as the angle of danger.
It is confusing, it is one and the same wish, to defend the humanness, that is pushing
the technology-heckles as well as us. For example, the Isaac-project was created just to
contribute to an improvement of the interplay between people like the person behind the
correspondent below considered threatened by Isaac.
|Technology is cold, human kind is warm.||Technology can contribute in making human warmth arise and reach from one person to another.|
|There is a risk differently abled people will be isolated if they, with the help of technology can handle their everyday-life completely on their own.||Differently abled people can, thanks to technology, handle their everyday-life better and search the contact they want to have.|
|New technology is not, in the first place, made for the users but a way for local authorities and county councils to decrease the personnel in group-homes.||New technology is made for the users. When they can handle some of the things they earlier had to ask the personnel to help them with, they will increase their wishes for experiences and support. It will not be cheaper for the local authority, but they will get other things for the money.|
|If you have a lot of talent-supporting technology in a group-living you will loose the homely atmosphere and instead you will create an institution.||If you have a lot of talent-supporting technology in your apartment it can be like a home of your own, with the possibility to try things stealthily without public control and you have the right to do things wrong.|
|Modern technology is so advanced not even the personnel can handle it. How are then differently abled people supposed to do that?||Modern technology is so advanced not even the personnel can handle it. Differently abled people might find it easier?|
|If you take to technological aids there is a risk people will end their training and thus not reach their optimise level.||If you take to technological aids there is a possibility for people to reach far more further that they else should have done.|
|Technology is insensitive and unreliable while people have a sensitive ear and are flexible.||Technology is a docile tool you can control, while people interfere and interpret.|
Letter from a nurse at the beginning of the Isaac-project to the editor of Sydsvenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper.
Very likely we have to learn living with those different ways of looking at
technology.Therefore it is very important to see that our intentions, our "in order
to", is mutual. That way it will be easier, in each specific case to let the result
decide what is "right" (technology or no technology).
Arne tells us a story:
"The other day I talked to a woman in the personnel about a differently abled man we both know. I said I believed he could manage to live in an apartment on his own if he got a telephone, a microwave-oven etc. She became very aggressive and enumerated lots of social argument on why that would not work. He would not have anyone to talk to, he would not get any food, he would not let anyone into his apartment, he would not wash himself or his clothes and thus he would not be welcome at his job. All his friends were living in the group-home and he would not care to visit them if he got an apartment of his own.
While I was listening to her I could not help start thinking of something that happened when I just had moved to Lund and was living in a dormitory. On Mondays the charwoman was coming. We spent therefore every Sunday evening at home cleaning the room pedantically. It was particularly important that everything on the floor was moved up to table-level. All material that could be questioned was put down into boxes. Your girlfriend had to temporarily move back to her own dormitory. Monday morning at exactly 7am she came thunderously in through the door. Sometimes she knocked before she entered, but most of the times she just entered and started. Not to clean but to comment on how it looked, the desk was dirty and it was very ungrateful to be a charwoman. After some very quick movements with the mop she left. She had great power and could influence on your living in different ways.
After several years ( which show how locked up you are in your thinking) we happened to see some budget-numbers that showed that out of the £150 we were paying in rent, £40 went to the cleaning. We established a negotiation delegation which suggested that the cleaning should be stopped, and that we should have a vacuum cleaner and a scouring cloth to clean the rooms by ourselves and that the rent should be lowered £40. This caused great activity among the predecessors for the dormitories and the following counterarguments were presented:
We would not be able to do the cleaning and particularly not the hygiene-spaces.
We would not clean common spaces, we would only think of ourselves.
People could lay sick for weeks and maybe die if the cleaning stopped.
The charwoman was for many people the only one they could speak to.
If someone was living in destitution and hadn't food for the day no one would discover it.
Those who were psychically ill would not get help as quickly as before, because now there was no charwoman who could discover their situation.
Dissension and mobbing in the dormitory would no longer be visualised.
As you understand this was a highly qualified charwoman and therefore the negotiations took rather a long time. Common sense finally won, and we got a vacuum cleaner, a scouring cloth and a bucket. We had to arrange regularly meetings to delegate common tasks as garbage removal and dormitory cleaning. This increased the social fellowship.
I think these two stories illustrate that people mix apples and pears. If differently abled people or students need a curator they should of course get a curator and not a charwoman or other personnel. If they want a vacuum cleaner or an apartment they should get that and not charwoman, a curator, or a group-home personnel.
When the personnel talk about quality of life for the differently abled they usually talk about the lack of being together and a common statement is "Technology could be good, but it must not let the being together suffer" Does anyone understands what that is supposed to mean? Does it mean that being together-supporting technology as waffle irons and fondue pots are OK, while walkmans, for example, are taboo?
When I talk to people I know and who have lived in the old type of group-living but now have moved to an apartment of their own, they are not at all negative towards technology.Above all they talk about the feeling of taking care of themselves, without doing things stealthily, without always have to explain why you are doing a certain thing. I have only met one person who could think of change his apartment. He wanted to move in with a friend. Without personnel.
Sometimes I believe I can see a partition wall. Certain technology, for example Velcro closing on shoes and a simple timer, the personnel will accept with a smile. But when I have been agitating for wireless-phones I have met a compact resistance. Can it be that technology which makes the life easier for both the differently abled and the personnel, for example the Velcro closing will automatically be looked at as positive? While scepticism will meet technology, the wireless-phone, which will make the life easier for the user but will demand more work for the personnel, at least temporarily?
Being together and fellowship is important for our happiness. Therefore you have to
work to remove practical obstacles so differently abled people can maintain a self-chosen
fellowship. It must not be like it was for those two men who wanted to associate. They
lived 300 metres from each other, and they were friends from the childhood. But they could
only meet at camps at summer."
Technology is as we already have said neither human nor inhuman. Technology is technical. It does not do anything by itself. Wishes have to be visualised and measures have to be taken down to the very tiniest level of detail if technology is supposed to answer to the needs.
Arne Svensk is illustrating a fixed scale.
That is why technology has a built in pedagogical effect - it makes you aware of the fact that you have to express things that otherwise had not been told. CERTEC's work with forexample the expert system Svarne (see below), which is designed for giving structure and knowledge about violence within the welfare, has convinced us that to give a certain area time and structure will give manifold back.
In the book Technology and Differently Abled People we have in a more systematic
way developed examples and theories within the area and enlightened how technology can
help to avoid "sliding scales":
We are here recycling an example from the book to show technology that will liberate through structure. Arne tells us a story:
" As new manager I could not systematically find what possibly could explain the violence. There was no way I could manage to find methods to stop it. When I look back at my actions it reminds me of the unsystematic way which I attack the electric system in my car. I know that there are different components in the electric system, and I know the name on few of them, for example cables, sparking plugs, starting motor and generator. Then I know from experience that damp in the electric system is a usual reason for the car not to start. Another reason is when the battery is dead. My search system starts with checking the battery. If it is OK, I continue with removing the dampness in the motor with help from spray. If the car does not start then I usually beat desperate at the relay, and the last thing I do is to remove the sparking plugs and dry them.
If the car would not start after these steps I usually remove myself a couple of hours and hope that time is on my side. Unfortunately, it seldom is. Next step is therefore to contact the nearest motorcar repair shop.
Intellectually I know that there are more systematic search systems where you little by little exclude malfunctions in separate parts of the electric system. I have learned that pattern by looking at skilled car-mechanics. Unfortunately the knowledge does not last, since I have learned it in a mechanical way without understanding the main theme in the search system.
When we, within welfare, are trying to analyse reasons for worry or agony to someone at the living, our way to handle it is often very similar to my amateurish way of looking for fault in my car. We know which different factors that cause worry, but we lack a systematic way of looking which could help us to exclude certain factors and emphasise on others.
Naturally it is not that simple, there is very often more than one explanation to why someone becomes worried or violent. But I believe that if you could find better search-strategies you could concentrate your thoughts on fewer areas and thereby make the searching more effective.
One way to make a search-system is to let an expert tell us how she does to reach the goal. For cars such systems already exist, for example in the American army. A skilled car-mechanic has shown how she discovers certain errors, and this knowledge has been put into a computer. When someone else then has troubles with his jeep far away from a garage he can use a computer for decision -support. The computer then leads him forward with questions like: "Are the lights working?" "Yes!" "Then check...." Does it click when you turn the starting- key?" "Yes!" "Then try...". Personally I would not mind having such an expert-system in my car.
The question is if this only is possible to cars or if there are experts on worry, agony and violence, and if that is the case, can you formalise this knowledge as well? I am convinced that this knowledge exists, and I believe it is possible to gather it.
I know from experience that I, myself, as a manager became somewhat more systematic for every year in my analyses. I learnt how to separate important things from less important things, and when it comes to violence, I started to see a pattern I'd never seen before.
Even if I do not like to call myself an expert I would like to share my experience. Why shall a new manager or keeper make the same mistakes I made? Is it reasonable that personnel and lodgers have to deal with constant novice-blunders? It goes without saying that a pilot is training in a simulator for hundreds of hours before he flies a jumbo-jet with 500 passages. Before the flight the crew goes through a check list to discover possible errors. I have never heard that someone has been suspicious towards the pilot because he did not know the check list by heart.
But when it comes to care and welfare we are thinking in a completely different way.It
is not accepted to use check lists for finding clues and decision-supports. Human problems
are considered to be so very complex that you cannot describe them in manuals. The only
thing that will do is to, during a lot of years, go through the mill and thereby get some
kind intuitive feeling for how you solve problems. I believe that thoughts like that are
dangerous, and that that way of looking at things will, in the end, hurt those we want to
The goal for the Isaac-project is that Isaac will give the user a support to be
someone. How far we get, who knows, we are trying to start out from the fact that a human
being has wishes and we want to give her a chance to express these herself. No one can do
it for her, no one can think for another person.
Maybe we should start to think of what is important for ourselves and then contemplate
on if this might be important for the differently abled as well. A personnel-group within
the welfare meant for example that the most important things for their safety, security
Technology that will make this possible also for differently abled people can be liberating. The same technology used in purpose to control can give the opposite effect.
"The lady who dreams" from the LL- publishing house's The Lady who dreams and other pictures. The text in the book says: "No one can see what it is that makes the woman happy. But we all can guess."
A woman borrowed a CERTEC-watch (see the book Technology and Differently Abled People). In fourteen days she had learnt which times were fixed (meals, taxi etc.) and which times that were switchable (washing her hair, looking in the newspaper). Fantastic! She was delighted about the watch, and her surrounding was delighted about her interest in the watch.
But a month later she broke the watch deliberately, she did not want it because she
thought the personnel had taken it over. At one occasion a keeper had said that she should
take a shower. She did not want to. When the personnel then said that " when two
lights at the watch have disappeared you have to take a shower anyway"- then they
were met by a triumphant laugh: "Haha, it is not possible because I have pulled out
the plug!" She had been on her way to understand time; what she now understood was
that her wish to be left alone implied that she stopped the time by pulling out the plug.
That she liberated herself from the watch.
Anyone who can use Isaac - can't he be without it as well? This is a question that sometimes is presented. The answer is, reasonable, no, because people are generally supplying themselves with more and more technology they could be without. In the discussion about Isaac-using for the differently abled, people probably mix two difficulties. One is that it is not that easy to use Isaac. You have to learn how to handle it, learn to master the difficulties of Isaac. It demands a lot of training, but it will work - provided that you want to learn it of course. And the Isaac-using can, little by little, be an automatic skill, something you do not have to think about, like riding a bicycle. Something you can learn once and for all, maybe after a long time, and that you can use at your job and in your spare-time, outside and inside.
The other difficulties, the ones thatIsaac-use is made to master, are problems about the unknown and/or unpredicted. If you, by routine-use of Isaac, can master situations that otherwise would be completely new or varying, it is of course a great success and worth the trouble practising the automatic skill.
It means a lot, how you, as a differently abled person, will be treated, not only in school and welfare, but in society as well. How, for example, willpeople look at differently abled people who are using Isaac?
You can in advance imagine how diametrically opposed the reactions from the world around will be. Will Isaac arouse aggression and desire to the surrounding or will the positives about Isaac dominate? Will the surrounding be curious on a pricker that the differently abled got , and that he himself never has seen before? Will you find something new and exciting that will make the mutual nonplussed feeling smaller, and thereby work against the prejudices?
You cannot know. We have therefore documented the worlds reactions on Isaac-users. We here refer to four occasions concerning the Isaac-user X. They are all positive. We have not yet seen even a sign that Isaac could influence the surrounding in a negative way.
1. Photography contact in Lund.
On the lawn, a girl is posing with her back towards a tree in front of a young female
photographer. The model got instructions that she should look sad. X is approaching the
girls at the lawn with enthusiasm:
"I also have a camera!"
"Do you? Isn't that great?"
"I can take a picture of you when you are photographing."
"All right,you do that."
The photographer was kind and tolerant, and as long as X does not demand too much attention there is room for both of them.
A very striking change takes place when she sees the picture of herself on the screen
of Isaac. She becomes totally fascinated
"What kind of camera is that, how on earth have, wow?!"
X shows her how you can take a picture, how the butterfly (the picture) can fly to Niclas (at the Isaac-resource-centre).
A wonderful possibility where two people with different conditions have something
mutual that interests them both.
2. It is ringing.
When X later is eating his lunch Isaac is ringing. X answers. No particular reaction
from the surrounding - people are now so used to wireless- phones.
3. A later photography occasion
X is walking behind a little girl with a wonderful movement -pattern. She is bouncing in her red jacket , and her long black hair is fluttering under her hood. X does not really know if he is allowed to take a picture of her from behind, but then the girl is turning around.
They are starting to talk to each other, and she tells him her name. Someone (her
mother?) calls on the girl to come quickly. X shows the picture in the Isaac-screen to the
mother. She has read about Isaac in the papers, but she is still a bit cautious.
4. X is looking for job at the police
It is not unusual that differently abled people see the police-job as a dream-job. Maybe because it symbolises power? During all circumstances X walked into the police-station at Lund to look for a job.
He sees a lot of shutters for passport issues and one for information. There are lots of people there. At the information desk there are two policemen. Behind the mirror-window next to the entrance sits a man in the exchange, and in another room are two policemen preparing for a meeting.
Everyone seems to be very busy, and no one seems to care about X. When he has pointed
atand taken pictures with Isaac towards the two policemen for quite a long time they
finally look up and offer to help him. X says he wants to talk to the boss. No, the boss
is sitting in a very important meeting and cannot be disturbed. X is not satisfied with
this- there has to be someone that is boss when the boss is away? And he is right, there
is an on duty boss down along the hall. To the right. After a while they have unravelled
that to the right is not to the left and that there is a sign and...
"Aah! As far as you can get and then that way..."
"Is he a nice person?"
"Yes, he is a lovely man."
"What's his name?"
"It depends on who is working today."
X knocks on the door and walks in. There actually is a policeman with an emblem on his arm and everything.
"I thought I would be a police-man and start to work here."
"Well, that will not be easy. You have to go to a police-school. And new rules from the government say that there is an admission stop from now on. Where are you from? Of course you can take a picture of me!"
Isaac is introduced, and the enthusiasm is a fact when the picture appears on the screen. His colleagues are called , and everyone wants to have their picture taken. What an exciting machine!
"So, your name is X and you live at a group-home? And they do not know that you are here?"
X shows the help-note (instruction) in Isaac's outer pocket:
"Good, maybe you can phone by yourself and tell them that you are here and looking for a job."
Contact is established:
"Yes, hello, is this Niclas? This is from the police in Lund. We have a fellow here whose name is X, and we wonder if we should keep him here or if we should let him go?"
X was allowed to go. And he was extremely satisfied with the fact that the policemen
had been so nice to him.
You cannot look at "liberating technology" just as technology. How it is introduced and how the development is encouraged and further developed is of crucial importance. This is what Göran Plato, manager at the day-care centre Tryckolera, tells us:
"I have let Isaac be like one of us. Like a human being who can talk. And moan. Who is sensitive. That you cannot touch just as you like. That you cannot throw into a corner. That is equally important as you and me. That will need "food".
I have made individual files. They are about who the participators are, what is important for them, and what they do. It is the differently abled who are using Isaac who should fill Isaac with contents. Not the opposite.
We interpret pictures (old and new ones) every day. As soon as we have a moment to spare. I also learn a lot of it. For example I have seen how we inside the group choose completely different pictures to illustrate one and the same occurrence.
One day with Isaac can start like this:
If I have got a transport-week I bring Isaac with me. When I drive to pick up Tomas I bring Isaac with me into his place. Tomas is very glad to show the personnel what we are doing in his files.
If I do not have a transport-week I walk directly to the attendance and put Isaac on the book-shelf. In the attendance everything is up. When the participants arrive they always walk into the attendance to see what is new, and what has happened. Isaac has to be there then. But I do not touch it myself. Everyone should learn everything.
We have morning assembly here every morning. Suddenly I say: "Everyone is not here, who is missing today?" "No one is missing, is there?" "Well, how many are we?" "We are only seven" Well, of course", they say. "It is Isaac who is missing." "Where is Isaac situated?"
Then someone is going to get Isaac. We get a chair for Isaac to "sit" on. He is not allowed to stand on the table. Anette first thought this was stupid, but she now agrees that computers are sensitive.
Then we have morning gymnastics with Isaac. You have to take on the bag, take Isaac up from the bag, and point.Now when they have got used to this they handle Isaac in a different way than they did from the start - now they take pictures nice and easily.
I show how they should hold Isaac, how they should handle the camera. We say hello, and then we push - and then it is ringing. What do we do then? We answer.
I work with getting the participators to understand the automation by connecting movements to the machine.
When we later are drinking coffee, I say: "What should Isaac have now?" "Coffee", and then we put the flex to the battery.
I try to explain the lights on the battery: "Is Isaac ready?" "Yes, now it is green" We say it like this - now it is green - to mark that Isaac is ready.
The participants are interested in what else is in the bag. I open it every day.
The most important thing is that they little by little have to decide themselves what they want to do. For someone it has been an outer occurrence that has made him start using Isaac (if he takes pictures of me, I will take pictures of him). For someone else it was jealousy (if they are going to, Iam). One's interest can feed others. For example, today one of my participants said about Isaac: "Now it is enough. You have been out with X and Y for so many days and they have taken so many pictures. I have only been out two times and then the pictures were no good. Now it is my turn." So we went out and took some pictures of her apartment and her cat. That was at 2pm. Now, at 4pm, she called and thanked for a nice afternoon and asked about the pictures!
This, that Isaac is one of us is important among other things to avoid violence towards Isaac. When someone becomes violent he attacks dead things (that is, not Isaac, if it has been introduced right). You should not interfere in such moments - then you will be handled like a dead thing. But Isaac does not interfere, so the risk is not very high for him."
So much has happened to the differently abled persons at Tryckolera since the
introduction of Isaac that we who are involved have difficulties in analysing the
development. Inga Richard-Olsson (manager at the group-living) spent a couple of days at
Tryckolera in June 1995. This is how she tells us what she saw:
"I was sitting in the sofa when they came in the morning. If it had been a year ago, theywould have run each other down to see me first. Now they saw me at once, but they did not run. There was a completely new dignity. Tomas took of his jacket and said then hello. Stig Möller took my hand and stroke my cheek. There was a kind of self-aware distance.
After lunch, when Ann-Christin had turned off the TV, Stig Nilsson got up and wanted to start working. He left Göran alone. Stig now knows that he is someone. He does not have to show himself all the time anymore. During the days I was at Tryckolera he only put his arm in front of his eyes once. He even defended his opinions without moving away, when I, who was not initiated in their routines, suggested something stupid. There are not a lot of people who change that much when they are 43-years old. As tremendously much as they have been working with him, as people have been sacrificing things, as they have been fighting I have many times said that he probably is the most trained differently abled person who lives in Sweden. If you are as handicapped as Stig is, you probably cannot go any further. Now when I met him I saw that he had developed a lot more. I couldn't imagine that the people at Tryckolera would develop as much as they had done .
Tomas in front of the computer was an experience. He focused on every key he used and on every occurrence on the screen. After a while he just looked at the screen in deep concentration.
Anette has become mature and strong. She cares about the others and even takes care of the personnel a little bit. She thinks that if Stig and Göran are documenting Stig's history with help from Isaac, you should document her history as well. When she received a picture with a cat and rabbit on, she said: "Will not the cat eat the rabbit?" When I talked about something stupid I had done at home, I could see how Anette disappeared. Then Göran said: "Do you hear that Anette?" When I told the story again she was listening. She had thought it was some kind of personnel talk and therefore hadn't been listening.
It is first and foremost Stig, Anette and Tomas who have start to use Isaac, but Gert has also tried a little. He is, as earlier, first interested in piecework. He always builds outwards and upwards, symmetric. If he needs eight similar pieces with two spines but cannot find the eighth part, when he had built the other seven, he will demolish and start to build with four spines instead. If he counts or just sees, no one knows. He thinks, thinks, thinks and investigates with his eyes. The first day he just stared at me. Curiously. He has stopped his slobbering. Also when he was very concentrated on his piecework and a drop was on its way, he caught it.
And he has started to look in magazines, first on women. But when the food arrived and
someone said: "Should we go and lay the table?", Gert quickly turned over the
leaves to where the food-pictures were. We who know Gert think this is amazing."
This example is about starting to conquer a new picture language. One of the
participants in the Isaac test-using tells us about a differently abled employee:
"We have a differently abled person who for a long, long time sat hunched up on his own. He never looked himself in the mirror. He started to look at pictures. Suddenly he started to take away all pictures except the ones he himself was in. When we tried with pictogram he was not interested. What was important was that he was in the pictures and that they were in colour.
With the help of pictures this man has now started to arrange the practical situations around him and started to become more available and extrovert. Today he is someone, because of the pictures (and the energy the personnel got who worked with him). He wants to develop and learn. He can learn something by becoming someone. It is very important that we, the personnel, understand the meaning and the value of the differently abled persons' possibility to sit down and communicate with the help of his pictures.
I see Isaac as a tool on the way away from Christmas-markets (where you sold things
cheap and felt sorry for the disabled persons) to become one among productive people.
From another place:
"When I saw the hour-symbols on the screen of Isaac I felt confused. And thought: "This is exactly how the differently abled often got it."
We have not been thinking in terms of pictures before. Our participators have not been in the special school, and they do not know anything about sign-communication or pictogram. We have to work more to develop the differently abled's possibilities and abilities. The most important one is communication.
After the Isaac-education I have started to work with camera and pictures. I think that the differently abled person should have the right to use a fax. Thendifferently abled people, as others, would have the possibility to send pictures to each other. If we, the personnel helped them they would soon start to use the fax. A lot of things that are hidden and undeveloped today would then soon be discovered.
I was a pupil at the hospital of St Lars and now I often think about the pictures the
sick expressed themselves with at the youth-ward. To be able to see in their pictures what
they have been through."
The possibility of the digital pictures is essentially different from those that an ordinary camera gives you. It has taken the Isaac test-users some time to discover this, but it has aroused wonder and a lot of thoughts. A selection of what they think is important:
That, via examples and a lot of pictures, you are able to give a concrete form to what it "says" in a pictogram.
To take a town-park series of pictures to be able to give a concrete form to town-park visits and then gradually remove pictures so there will be only one picture left in the end: the individual "pictogram" for town-park.
To start developing "a special pedagogy based on pictures".
To test what series of pictures can do for the autistic child who did not know if her mother still was her mother when she had changed her flowery blouse to another one. Can you help creating the idea "mother" versus the idea "ladies with flowery blouses" by filling the computer-screen with pictures of mother in a lot of different clothes or filling it with a lot of different ladies with flowery blouses of which mother is one?
To have a picture of your own washing-machine instead of a pictogram- what difference
does it make?
There are activities for differently-abled which do not use the possibility of the
picture at all, and Isaac can there get a major importance. But what about places where
you already have a lot of pictures? This is what some of the participators from Eslöv
"We already work a lot with pictures in our group-homes, we have found good solutions and they work most of the time. Isaac could be a co-ordinator for all our different solutions. We appreciate Isaac as a mutual safety, that is safety also for the personnel.
We believe that Isaac will arouse curiosity. The curiosity will make you more susceptible to teaching; the self-esteem and the self-confidence will increase, you will be able to influence more than before.
What concerns the human-register we already have photo-albums but with Isaac we can
bring in relations as well: mother, teacher, fellow-worker, birth-day, telephone-numbers
etc. Not to mention the training of conceptions."
The personnel of the welfare and the special school are needed in the development of
talent-aids. You and your activity have to help. No one can do it for you. Because it is
not the solution that is the problem. It is the problem that is the solution.
Technology will not do anything by itself. Wishes have to be visualised and be taken
care of down to the very smallest level if technology is to answer the needs.
Therefore technology has an in-built pedagogical effect. It forces you to be aware of,
and formulate things that never would be said.
Technology can help the user to become someone.
Digital pictures will open a completely new world for communication without words.
"Stig has reached far, far further than I could imagine."
Technology can make self-chosen fellowship possible.
Technology can arouse curiosity, and curiosity contributes towards learning.
What if it is possible to create an "SBP", a special pedagogy based on
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