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 AND OBJECTIVE: Using articles from our systematic review of research on computer text entry by people with physical disabilities [1,2], we assessed the design, conduct, and reporting of text entry studies, in order to strengthen the utility and replicability of future studies. METHODS: We analyzed study designs, participant characteristics, study procedures, intervention specification, dependent variables, and data analysis, rating 40 indicators for each of 42 studies. RESULTS: The average study fully met 59% of the indicators, ranging from 48% for participant characteristics to 69% for intervention specification. Based on that assessment, we…present some recommendations for improving future studies. Key recommendations to consider include: conducting more studies in a service delivery context; reporting information for every participant, including functional scores, experience with the text entry interfaces, and body sites used for typing; providing details regarding the typing task and text entry metrics; and using inferential statistics to inform conclusions. CONCLUSIONS: Following these recommendations can help ensure that a study can address its own specific goals as well as support a powerful synthesis of information across studies.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In recent years, the interest of performing research about and providing e-services for individuals with disabilities has grown significantly. However, there is a knowledge gap in the existing literature on how to stimulate the pre-requisites needed for a sustainable implementation of e-services. AIM AND METHOD: The study aims to contribute to this knowledge gap by performing semi-structured email interviews with twelve project coordinators from the EU programmes of FP6-IST and FP7-ICT. RESULTS: The findings showed that knowledge-based and financially based resources, the complexity of the project context, ethical issues and the structural…responsibility of the implementation process were key issues in creating a sustainable implementation. Furthermore, users often were not able to perceive added value from the e-services as they seldom were developed beyond prototypes within the research project. CONCLUSION: The implementation of e-services and/or ICT based applications for individuals with disabilities face similar challenges to the challenges that have been identified when implementing IT-based innovations. Further studies should focus on how users can be involved in the choice and development of e-services they understand as effective, and how to ensure that the implementation strategy will contribute to long-term social inclusion, that is, sustainability.
Keywords: E-services, sustainability, prototype, social inclusion, individuals with disabilities
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Embodied conversational agents (ECA) are possible enablers of assistive technologies, in particular for older adults with cognitive impairment. Yet, dedicated interaction management techniques addressing the specificities of this public are needed. OBJECTIVES: We assess whether the interaction management framework of the LOUISE (Lovely User Interface for Servicing Elders) ECA has the potential to overcome the user interface constraints linked to cognitive impairment. METHODS: LOUISE supports key target-specific features: personalization; attention management; context reminders; image and video displays; a conversation manager for task-oriented interactions; and the foundations for a domain-specific XML-based language for…task-oriented assistive scenarios. LOUISE’s usability and acceptance were evaluated at the Broca geriatric hospital in Paris. with a group of 14 older adults with either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through four simple but realistic assistive scenarios: drinking, taking medicine, measuring blood pressure and choosing the lunch menu. RESULTS: Most of our participants were able to interact with the ECA, succeeded in completing the proposed tasks and enjoyed our design. CONCLUSION: The field usability evaluation of LOUISE’s interaction management framework suggests that this suite of interaction techniques can be effective in enabling interfaces for users with MCI or AD.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is lack of understanding of “user experience”; i.e. how people with visual impairments use today’s emerging mainstream technologies along with assistive technologies, which would ultimately lead to less user-friendly designs. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this study is to advance knowledge of user needs and concerns about usability of mainstream and assistive technologies. METHODS: The archival research method was used to obtain data via online forum sites. After reviewing six forum sites, this study has found 92 messages that specifically discussed the use of technology, and reviewed the messages by comparing…them with ten usability heuristics by Nielsen. RESULTS: The majority of usability problems were associated with flexibility and efficiency of use ; help for users to recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors ; and help documentation . CONCLUSIONS: It is imperative to focus on improving usability of both assistive and mainstream technologies in use by people with visual impairments.
Abstract: The wheelchair users are exposed to many physical and psychological health problems associated with prolonged seated posture with being inactive in wheelchair, e.g., fatigue, pain in hip joint, pressure sores, etc. Other related issues are increase in caregiver dependency, lower back pains among caregivers, and injury incidences during transfer support, etc. Many elderly subjects who can walk are confined in wheelchairs due to the lack of standing ability. With fewer caregivers and increased numbers of lower limb disabled and elderly subjects, there is a significant need of improved wheelchair designs aimed at enhanced independence of wheelchair users. The focus of…present work was at designing a novel reconfigurable wheelchair incorporated with stand-sit-sleep capabilities for the purpose of enhancement of independence and quality of life of lower limb disabled and elderly subjects. In the early part of the study, the integration of QFD (Quality function deployment) and TRIZ (Theory of Inventive problem solving) approaches was employed to structure and explore long term wheelchair user needs to identify critical design parameters and to solve possible design contradictions. Further work presents an overall product design and development phases of a reconfigurable wheelchair. The major contributions of paper can be summarized as (i) Kinematic concept of a reconfigurable wheelchair with single DoF based on QFD design and TRIZ methodology (ii) Graphical synthesis of new wheelchair mechanism (iii) Modelling of a proposed wheelchair using Top down modelling approach (iv) Analysis of model using multi-body dynamics (MBD) simulations using MSC ADAMS and shape optimization using ANSYS and (v) Product realization through 3D printed functional model. The proposed inventive solution to the problems of long-term wheelchair users has a promising potential to enhance independence and quality of life of disabled people.