4to24 Deaf-Blind App Ready for Field Test

The NRTC's employment-focused "4to24" app for parents of youth with deaf-blindness (DB) is in its final stages of development. This version of the app is designed specifically for parents or caretakers of children and youth between the ages of 4 to 24 years old who are deaf-blind, or have combined visual and hearing impairment, and additional disabilities. The app will help parents focus on building skills for communication, independent living, and preparing for employment starting from an early age.

The app will send modules of information about different topic areas such as communication methods, self-determination, independent living skills, and social skills. Parents will receive a new module appropriate for the youth's age about once a month. Modules will include a list of suggested activities that parents can do with their child to build skills related to each topic and will offer suggestions to modify activities for different ability levels.

We are currently recruiting people to field test the app, which will involve creating an account in the app and using the app features for six months. We'll ask participants to fill out some surveys before, during, and after about their thoughts and activities in the app – five short surveys in all. Aside from that, participants will use the app in whatever way works best for them and their families.

Karla Antonelli, the principal investigator, is "excited to receive feedback from parents who can help us make the app the best it can be." If interested in signing up to be a field tester or learning more, please register at msstatecoe.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4UxsxJJxeCPqXGJ

The field test for youth and parents of youth with blindness or visual impairment (B/VI) version of the app will end in July and is on schedule for release to the public in Fall 2020. The app will be compatible with iOS, Android, and web platforms.

For assistance or further information, contact Karla Antonelli at kantonelli@colled.msstate.edu.