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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 provision of complex electronic assistive technology systems for people with severe physical disabilities requires a structured process of assessment, prescription and follow-up. The provision framework developed in Barnsley includes a long-term iterative process of continuing follow-up and optimisation of the prescribed system. A computer-based integrated assistive system has been developed, which includes a software tool to log usage. The expectation is that the information available from data logging will supplement information…from communication with the users and carers, and observational data, to give feedback on the success of the prescription that is more objective, comprehensive and easy to collect. Approaches to analysis of the logged data are presented and illustrated by a case study. The results demonstrate that, when usage data are logged within an integrated assistive system, the data can be analysed and presented to give meaningful feedback on the fit of the system to user requirements.
Abstract: This paper presents the results of a pilot study of a virtual reality play based intervention. The results of four single case studies are presented. The virtual reality intervention used the Mandala Gesture Xtreme technology. It was applied to four school aged children with cerebral palsy. A pretest-posttest design was used. The relevant outcome of interest was upper extremity control as measured with the Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST), item #6 of Subtest #5…of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP), and a measure of percent accuracy . The total scores on the QUEST indicated clinically significant changes in quality of upper extremity for two of the children. Changes were noted in other measures of upper extremity control for each child. Qualitative comments from the participants revealed a high degree of motivation, interest, pleasure, and opportunity for engagement in play activities not previously engaged in. Overall, this pilot study suggests the viability of a virtual reality play based intervention as part of the rehabilitation process for children with cerebral palsy. These results will form the basis of a larger scale randomized clinical trial.
Abstract: Telecare systems are increasingly being seen as a means of providing a cost-effective response to the increasing demands placed on healthcare provision. However, in order to meet all levels of stakeholder need, there is a requirement to adopt from the very beginning an integrated, system based strategy to the definition and development of the relevant technologies which brings together and takes account of such needs while supporting effective and efficient management of limited resources, both human…and financial. In particular, the resulting system must facilitate an ability to respond rapidly and effectively to changes in client need occurring through time while giving the care providers and managers access to the specific information needed to support the most effective care provision and allocation of resources. The resulting system must also not only be capable of integrating future and developing technologies but also be able to encompass existing technologies such as community alarms. Based on ongoing research, the paper considers the implications of the introduction of such a systems approach to telehealth and telecare provision and the likely impact upon health care provision in relation to prospective stakeholders.
Keywords: telecare, health informatics, intelligent monitoring, user attitudes, smart homes
Abstract: This study highlights some aspects of what it is like to live with children with disabilities in the IT-age. What experiences and expectations do families with children with disabilities express concerning new technology and computers? Computer technology creates expectations and raises hopes of compensation and increased possibilities. The purpose of this study is to highlight what factors interact to make a tool like ICT develop into an aid for the child. The study is based on…interviews with seven families of children with severe and multiple disabilities.