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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: It is evident that a major issue for stroke survivors is a failure to resume enjoyable leisure activities. This pilot study is a qualitative investigation of the experiences of sixteen stroke survivors, ages 49 to 86, after engaging in a leisure virtual reality (VR) intervention program. Each participant took part in a qualitative in-depth interview to discuss the VR experience. VR can be described as an immersive 3-dimensional environment, which requires participants to interact with simulated…objects. Four themes emerged from the data: doing and engaging, enabling competence, this has got me moving, and recommendations. The subtheme technology is okay, also emerged. Findings from this study illustrate that stroke survivors have a decrease in leisure participation and VR is viewed as an opportunity for participation. Engaging in VR creates new interests or rekindles an interest in returning to previous leisure activities. VR is also perceived as a form of therapy with benefits for the body and mind. Moreover, the findings support the idea that older persons are comfortable with this technology. Results are discussed in terms of theories of flow, self-efficacy, and a person-environment experience. Although VR will not fully replace real experiences and environments, it is an avenue for stroke survivors to realize their potential. This research has an implication for practice and future research.
Abstract: The Swedish National Post and Telecom Agency provides services in the postal and telecommunication area for disabled persons. The text telephone relay service, videophone relay service, free directory enquiries and extended rural postal service are aimed for various groups of persons with disabilities. The aim of this study was to develop a socioeconomic model for assessing such telecommunication services for disabled persons. The model development included the WHO Classification ICIDH-2 and ICF, literature review, reference panel…opinions, expert opinions and pilot studies. The developed model encompasses quality of the services, costs and outcomes. The quality of the services refers to quality in structure and process. Costs for different actors are included, e.g. the user, family members, county councils, local authorities and the government. Outcomes of the services refer to intermediate outcomes (direct communicative outcomes) and generic outcomes (quality of life). The socioeconomic model is general and is applicable to different rehabilitation interventions.
Keywords: socioeconomic model, quality of life, costs, postal and telecommunication services, disability
Abstract: The aim of the study was to compare text telephone relay service and videophone relay service. The target group was people borne deaf. The following aspects were investigated: (1) socioeconomic costs, (2) costs of different actors, (3) qualitative aspects of the services, (4) outcomes (intermediate effects and quality of life). The study was longitudinal and measurements were made at three occasions. Data collection was made by post-mailed questionnaires. Of the 41 respondents, 16 persons had access…to the text telephone relay service only and 25 persons had access to text telephone relay service supplemented with videophone relay service. The ratings of the quality of the services and the outcomes were significantly higher for videophone relay service than for text telephone relay service (at a 95%-level). The incremental cost was approximately SEK 40 000, or EUR 4 510 (1 EUR = 8.87 SEK, as of 31 December 2000) higher per person and year for the group with access to both text telephone relay service and videophone relay service compared with the group with access to text telephone relay service only.
Keywords: text telephone, videophone, deaf, cost, quality of life