Alex Long – Social Justice Research

Alex Long

Social Justice Topic

The topic of my Social Justice Topic Research Report is centered around a functional communication tool that is accessible for all types of people. This will assist many types of people in any situation in which basic information is needed quickly and efficiently. Clear and concise communication applications can help make a difference in life or death situation and should be available to those who need it. “Eric Tissenbaum, a disabilities advocate with the Appalachian Center for Independent Living, Mike Jarrett of the Kanawha County Ambulance Service and others have devised a new smartphone/iPad app to be used by local public agencies such as ambulance services, police departments and fire departments to communicate with people who do not speak English fluently.” The app will utilize pictures, icons, translators and sound to effectively produce communication between the needy and the help.

The social justice topic of this report will be centered on Disabilities, and there are many issues that relate to the topic. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) is needed for those with severe disabilities but are faced with difficulties. “these include prevailing attitudes that “privilege spoken languages and deny the value of alternatives” ([31] Von Tetzchner and Grove, 2003, p. 1). However, recent developments in communication applications (apps) for the iPad, iPod and iPhone may provide a more socially “accepted” means of communication ( These issues must be examined before the design process of the app begins and success will rely on how AAC is actually utilized. “AAC may be used in three main ways ([32] Von Tetzchner and Martinsen, 2000). Some people may need AAC if they have comprehension skills which are in advance of their expressive skills. For this group of people, the issue is that they have more to communicate about than their current means of expression will allow. For another group of people, the AAC support may be a temporary means or may only be needed in some specific situations. Lastly, AAC may be needed for both expressive communication and for comprehension.” Disabilities is a complex social justice issue which can also solve problems for various other social justice issues, including education and homelessness.

In a research brief titled, Conducting Cognitive Exercises for Early Dementia with the Use of Apps on Ipads, a list of itunes apps was compiled to determine salient features of the most successful apps to benefit the knowledge base on innovative use of technology. In producing an app it is important to create for the focus audience. The limitations of those with disabilities is a factor in this app design. It was found that the more successful apps, incorporate simple mathematics  and the least successful were characterized by pre-set time limits.

Works Cited

Bradshaw, J. (2013). The use of augmentative and alternative communication apps for the iPad, iPod and iPhone: An overview of recent developments. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 18(1), 31-37. doi:

Anthony, K (2015). Conducting Cognitive Exercises for Early Dementia With the Use of Apps on Ipads. Communication Disorders Quarterly 2015, Vol. 36(2) 102-106,

Thomas, C. (2014, Sep 17). Have an emergency? there’s an app for that. The Charleston Gazette Retrieved from


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