Purchase individual online access for 1 year to this journal.
Price: EUR 105.00
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: BACKGROUND: Arrays of force sensitive resistors are useful tools for measuring contact pressures, and are widely used in application to the wheelchair seating interface. Naturally, arrays with more sensors provide greater information content; however, operational costs increase steadily with the number of sensors. OBJECTIVE: Here we provide a first answer to the question: ``How many sensors are necessary for accurate pressure mapping?'' METHODS: We simulate an ultra-high-density sampling of interfacial pressures (equivalent to a 121 × 121 array), and incrementally down-sample the data (down to a 5 × 5 array). At each simulated…sampling density, we calculate three common features (average pressure, maximum pressure, and pressure gradient). Using data collected from a broadly inclusive population of wheelchair users (N= 22), we set a threshold of 90% accuracy of feature extraction for 50% of the population (τ μ ) and for 80% of the population (τ σ ); data were collected using a commercially available mat with typical sensor spacing. RESULTS: We find that τ μ ranged from 9-11 sensors on edge (i.e. 9 × 9 to 11 × 11 grid required to faithfully reproduce the three extracted features), and τ σ ranged from 13-20. CONCLUSIONS: The common 16 × 16 sensor arrays with approximately 3 cm spacing between sensors, are particularly reliable with high fidelity to grids of higher sampling density, with the possible exception of pressure gradient, which is only moderately accurate, and may require a larger sampling density (20 × 20).
Abstract: The main objective of the project presented in this paper was the creation of a cheap multilanguage subtitling platform for live events as sports transmission. Actually, when a TV channel want to subtitle live events, special equipment and operational cost are needed. As a result, few TV channels in the entire world subtitle live events or the subtitles have bad quality. The platform presented in this paper changes the subtitle production processes and, with few resources, provides subtitles for all the TV channels in multiples languages for several technologies (TV channels, WebTV, mobile). The platform was created with a centralized…architecture based on the selection of phrases for a commentator. Each phrase model has several synonymous phrases and in multiples languages into XML file. TV channels are able to use this plus their own subtitling system at the same. The output of the platform was tested with several deaf viewers and the results were better than actual subtitling systems. The platform opens a wide area for research aimed at its own improvement and increase of revenue.
Keywords: Subtitle, deaf, hard hearing, multilanguage, TTML
Abstract: There is a clear demographic trend towards a higher proportion of elderly population in most developed countries and economies. One of the key aspects related to aging is the continuation of high quality of living for elderly population. Such a goal can be achieved when elderly people are autonomous, independent and have lower risks for their health and safety. By means of a field study and personal interviews with four subjects from the identified age group, and a survey with 105 elderly participants, we have recorded their everyday instrumental activities and areas of concern, identifying actions that may pose risks…to them and hence, require care and assistance. Based on our findings, we present several possibilities of smart technologies available on the market, which could be used for assisting elderly population to live a pleasant, independent, healthy and safer life in the Singaporean context.
Keywords: Elderly population, areas of concern, everyday activities, information systems, smart technologies, quality of life
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Stability is the ability of subjects to keep his body in a stable position and has an ability to return from an unstable to a stable position. Although the stability of spinal cord injury (SCI) individuals has been evaluated in some research studies during quiet standing, none of them can be used to predict risk of falling, due to lack of relationship between static and dynamic stability. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the stability of SCI during walking. METHODS: Three groups of normal subjects, complete SCI walking with…orthosis, and incomplete SCI participated in this study. Their dynamic stability was evaluated based on the motion of center of mass (COM) in the mediolateral and vertical directions normalized to the width of base of support and leg length, respectively. Two sample tests were used to evaluate the dynamic stability of the participants. RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the excursion of COM in vertical direction between normal, complete and incomplete SCI subjects (P-value < 0.05). However the difference between the COM movements in the mediolateral direction was not significant. The width of base of support of complete SCI was nearly two times more than that of normal subjects. CONCLUSIONS: SCI individuals increased their walking stability in mediolateral direction by increasing the base of support. The greatest movement of COM in vertical direction in SCI was due to specific gait strategy employed by SCI subjects. SCI subjects decrease their walking speed as a main strategy to improve their dynamic stability.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Recently in Brazil, there has been investment and improvements in the service delivery system for assistive technology provision. However, there is little documentation of this process, or evidence that users are being involved appropriately. OBJECTIVE: To understand how assistive technology service provision currently functions in Belo Horizonte city, Brazil, in order to provide context-specific interventions and recommendations to improve services. METHOD: Qualitative research design, including visits to key institutions and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders. Interview questions were divided with two purposes: 1) Exploratory, aiming to understand present service functioning; 2) Evaluative,…aiming to assess staff difficulties in applying existing best practice. RESULTS: Assistive Technology services in Belo Horizonte fall under the `medical model' definition of the service delivery system developed by AAATE. It was also found that staff lack training and knowledge support to assess user requirements and to involve them during the decision-making process. Additionally, there is no follow-up stage after the device is delivered. CONCLUSIONS: The study clearly defines the service provision function and the staff difficulties at Belo Horizonte city, providing information for further studies.
Keywords: Service delivery system, assistive technology, user influence