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Software Helps Identify Seizure-Causing Content
August 14, 2009

In 1997, an episode of the popular Pokémon cartoon gained worldwide attention when more than 800 Japanese children with photosensitive seizure conditions were admitted to the hospital after viewing the cartoon or the subsequent news coverage of it. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Trace Center have released a software tool that could prevent similar incidences of media-triggered seizures in children who are browsing the Internet or using computer programs.

The software, called the Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT), allows Web developers to evaluate their site content and determine whether the content presents a danger to people with photosensitive epilepsy. PEAT is the first tool developed for evaluating Web-based content, and a beta version is available for free download from the Trace Center, a pioneer center that designs mainstream information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

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