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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: This article reviews a voice interactive system design utilizing VoiceXML technology. Voice based web services can be used as an alternative to other existing forms of assistive technology for use by visually impaired or blind persons, as well as other people having a disability. For example, they can access news from a variety of local, regional or national newspapers and the only equipment necessary is a touch-tone telephone with no requisite knowledge of personal computers or…specialized software required. VoiceXML standard is a tag based scripting language based on Extended Mark up Language (XML) and is used to design voice interactive information access systems supported by natural language and text to speech processing tools for interpretation and transcribing information. The voice based services are designed and hosted in a web server using server side technologies that generate VoiceXML scripts for the information to be delivered, while the VoiceXML interpreter platforms renders this information at a certain cost from anywhere by dialing a toll free telephone number.
Abstract: People with disabilities work in a variety of environments and accommodations in these environments enable them to enter and remain in the workplace. A literature review was conducted looking at workplace accommodations including provisions for assistive technology and the following themes in accommodation were identified: 1) types of accommodations recommended, 2) people receiving provisions for accommodation, and 3) methods of reporting accommodation in the literature. Computer technologies for people with musculoskeletal limitations…were the most prevalent provisions reported. Multi subject studies tend to focus on general themes of workplace accommodations, however the specific barriers and solutions found in case studies is important to clinicians and developers of new technologies. A need exists to identify themes of specific barriers to job placement along with the associated facilitators that contribute to successful employment for individuals with disabilities so workplace accommodations priorities for future projects addressing job outcomes for people with disabilities can be determined.
Abstract: The MoviText method has been developed and tested on individuals with absolute central scotomas as a pre-optical reading training method. The ZoomText computer screen magnification software with its DocReader feature has been used in reading training to show the effect of moving the text during reading. The user reads with his or her selected eccentric angle viewing in order to acquire the new eccentric reading behavior more easily, before optical devices are introduced. Nine subjects in…this study used microscopic lenses from 6X to 13X magnification as reading devices. The subjects, all with very large central visual field losses, achieved a significant improvement in reading rate when using the microscopic lenses after training with the new MoviText method.
Keywords: central visual field loss (CFL), preferred retinal locus (PRL), eccentric viewing, microscopic lenses, pre-optical reading training
Abstract: This literature review study focused on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as a support for frail older people living at home and their family carers. A number of international ageing studies have examined older people's attitudes towards new technology and the effects of training on attitudes and receptivity towards technology. Within the field of elder care, there are an increasing number of studies that have explored the effectiveness of telecare and telehealth services…in the home. In particular, there are innovative examples of studies that examine the use of a range of information and support systems in the home. These studies often target family carers of older persons with chronic illness. A key theme within the literature is the importance of the user friendliness of ICT services. For many EU countries, a key question is the extent to which the international studies are transferable, not least due to issues of language. Currently, there are a dearth of studies that involve working together with frail older people and their family carers to search for new ICT solutions to meet their support needs.
Keywords: information and communication technology, elderly, carers, home care services, user involvement, research and development, literature review