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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 multimedia software described, called LAC, is aimed at any public wishing to become familiar with the various communication techniques in use among deaf people. Its underlying principle is the association of words and ideas: For each entry in a lexical collection ordered by topics, it provides practical examples of expressions, illustrative pictures and videos, as well as the equivalents in sign language and cued speech. As an answer to users' difficulty in creating the signed videos, a generation module of the synthetic animations is proposed. This is able to take into consideration the specific phonology and grammatical processes of…sign language. The virtual character has been designed so as to exhibit a realistic behaviour, and is driven by a hierarchic description of signs. Included in the interface of LAC, it should soon be in a position to translate whole written sentences.
Keywords: computer-assisted learning, multimedia interfaces, sign language synthesis
Abstract: Bathroom falls are a significant health hazard among seniors. This cross sectional survey examined patterns of utilization and acceptability of bathroom safety devices, bathing and toileting practices, and bathroom falls in a sample of 550 older residents of non-profit apartment buildings in two Canadian regions. Almost one-third of participants (32%) preceding the study, of whom about 15% half of the bathroom falls were related to bath or toilet transfers and 80% access to bathroom devices used them regularly and found them helpful. However, many participants also relied on hazardous supports to facilitate bathing and toileting activities. Implications of the findings…relate to policy planning, product design, standard development, and public education.
Keywords: bathing, falls, assistive technology, older adults
Abstract: IPPA (Individually Prioritised Problem Assessment) is a new instrument to assess the effectiveness of assistive technology provision. It assesses the impact that problems have on daily life as perceived by the end-user. In an international trial, 248 clients of service delivery centres were interviewed using the instrument, of whom 188 also participated in a follow-up interview. Respondents had problems in mobility, hearing, speech-related communication or self-care. In addition to IPPA, SIP68 and EuroQol were administered for validation purposes. The instrument fits well into the process of service delivery (and even facilitates the actual assessment). The direction of changes measured by…IPPA is consistent with the direction of changes measured by SIP68 and EuroQol, supporting construct validity. Changes measured by IPPA are considerably larger, supporting our view that solving problems is a key outcome in provision of assistive devices. Results support the ideas behind the instrument and are promising enough to continue.
Abstract: In this paper we present a set of tools that help in building interfaces for users who exhibit uncontrolled tremor in their upper limbs. These tools, which use a standard sketch board as sensing and final interface device, permit the logging of movement information while the user performs some simple tasks. Several movement analysis tests are proposed and applied to a small group of users. These preliminary experiments were conducted as a phenomenological study of these users. Although the sample size is small, test results are studied in detail and several important conclusions are obtained. Furthermore, useful data and procedures…for building usable interfaces are also presented.