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Technology and Disability communicates knowledge about the field of assistive technology devices and services, within the context of the lives of end users - persons with disabilities and their family members. While the topics are technical in nature, the articles are written for broad comprehension despite the reader's education or training.
Technology and Disability's contents cover research and development efforts, education and training programs, service and policy activities and consumer experiences.
The term Technology refers to assistive devices and services.
- The term Disability refers to both permanent and temporary functional limitations experienced by people of any age within any circumstance.
- The term and underscores the editorial commitment to seek for articles which see technology linked to disability as a means to support or compensate the person in daily functioning.
The Editor also attempts to link the themes of technology and disability through the selection of appropriate basic and applied research papers, review articles, case studies, programme descriptions, letters to the Editor and commentaries. Suggestions for thematic issues and proposed manuscripts are welcomed.
Abstract: The Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST) was formally established at the University of Pittsburgh in September of 1994 to provide leadership in research, education, and clinical practice related to rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. In its short history, RST has excelled in each of these three areas of endeavor. RST's goals for the future are to complete the following tasks: 1. to become one of the first programs in Rehabilitation Science and Technology to become accredited by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA); 2. to develop distance learning courses to provide…greater access to our curriculum by practicing rehabilitation professionals; 3. to establish a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Engineering as a joint program between the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology; and 4. to expand our curriculum to include a greater clinical emphasis.
Keywords: rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology, service delivery, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: This article describes the advanced graduate curriculum in rehabilitation science recently developed at the University of Texas Medical Branch. The need for the establishment of research based graduate programs in rehabilitation science is discussed in relation to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled Enabling America: Assessing the Role of Rehabilitation Science and Engineering. The conceptual framework for course development and faculty/student research in the rehabilitation science curriculum is based on the Enabling-Disabling Model presented in the IOM report. This model has been adapted to include components of the World Health Organization's revised International Classification of Functioning and Disability. The…components and structure of the curriculum are described and information presented regarding admission and areas of research focus.
Abstract: This report describes the methods used to develop measures of discipline-specific rehabilitation goals. Occupational, physical, speech and recreation therapists reported goals as well as admission and discharge ratings, while psychologists, social workers, and chaplains reported extent of goal attainment for 314 patients treated at seven inpatient programs. Functional status measures with adequate psychometric properties were developed for occupational, physical, speech and recreation therapists using rating scale analysis . While the items developed for use by psychologists, social workers and chaplains did not span a sufficient range of goal attainment for the sample, the hierarchies of goal attainment provide ideas about…how the item sets could be expanded. Gains from admission to discharge are reported separately for patients with primary impairments of stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, along with correlations among the discipline-specific measures and Functional Independence Measure components. The results help focus attention on the specific contributions of various disciplines and the likelihood of attaining goals.
Abstract: Graduate programs in rehabilitation science are relatively recent emergents that have distinct implications for the future of rehabilitation research. Apropos of being relatively new, these programs are marked by considerable diversity in terms of curricula, the backgrounds of their faculty members, and organizational placement within their respective universities. They are similar, however, in basing their justification in part on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report, Enabling America: Assessing the Role of Rehabilitation Science and Engineering , and its advocacy for an integrative field that is titled, “rehabilitation science and engineering”. This paper describes some of the report's background and critically…appraises the proposed field and the reasons why it is championed. An alternative conception of rehabilitation science is outlined, and several needed achievements are highlighted to spur its development.