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: There is strong evidence that cognitive skills and executive functions are skills that children need in order to successfully learn in school. Although executive function disorders are not considered a learning disability, weaknesses in executive functioning are often observed in students with learning disabilities or ADHD. Cognitive games are a type of educational games which focus on enhancing cognitive functioning in children with different profiles of cognitive development, including students with neurocognitive and/or learning disabilities. Self-regulation and metacognitive skills also play an important role in academic performance. OBJECTIVE: In this work, we highlight the need of monitoring…and supporting metacognitive skills (self-regulation) in the context of a cognitive training game. We propose a system for self-regulated cognitive training for children which supports metacognitive strategies allowing the child to reflect on their own progress, weaknesses and strengths, self-arrange the training content, and thus to promote their self-regulated learning skills. METHODS: We provide a narrative review of research in cognitive training, self-regulated learning and explainable recommendation systems for children in educational settings. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Based on the review, an experimental testbed is proposed to explore how transparency, explainability and persuasive strategies can be used to promote self-regulated learning skills in children, considering individual differences on learning abilities, preferences, and needs.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research suggests that video-based interventions such as video modeling (VM) and video prompting (VP) assist students with severe/profound disabilities, such as autism and intellectual disabilities, to learn academic skills. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates whether a VP intervention on a functional academic math skill would have similar effects for adolescent students with mild/moderate learning disabilities (LD). METHODS: A single subject multiple probe across subjects design was used. Five high school students (three female and two male) ages 16–17 viewed a video on an iPad to learn to calculate how much money an item…would cost if a certain percentage of the price were deducted for a sale. RESULTS: A functional relation was found between use of the intervention and acquisition of the steps necessary to complete the calculation task. Three students maintained the skills, correctly answering most word problems on a post-test a month after completing the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest that VP can be effective in teaching mathematic procedures to students with disabilities. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.
Keywords: Learning disability, LD, math instruction, video modeling, video prompting, iPad, Common Core
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A major concern that is being increasingly addressed in modern educational environments is the ability to present equal accessibility opportunities to students with neurodevelopmental conditions and disorders as for typically developing children. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of the paper is to employ innovative technological advancements merged with evidence-based practices in order to teach, improve and generalise social skills for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) as well as children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). METHODS: The development of a personalized solution adapted to the needs of each…student is proposed. The platform will be composed of three main modules (Content Management, Emotional Analysis and Personalization). The target group is students of the Primary Years Program and Middle Years Program. EXPECTED RESULTS: Improved communicational and interactional capability of people with disabilities and facilitate social innovation; more affordable technologies and products that support interactions for people with disabilities, and new generation of services that are highly adaptable and personalisable to individual contexts. CONCLUSIONS: In order to achieve the optimum output/result of the system the procedure need to be implemented and reviewed by all involved parties.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Intelligent Personal Assistants have been booming around the world since 2014, allowing millions of users to interact with different cloud-based software via speech. Unfortunately, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals have been left out without recognizable accessibility to such technologies, although it might be used to make their daily life routine easier. OBJECTIVE: In this research, the researcher studies the interaction and perception of Amazon’s Alexa among the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United Arab Emirates in its current set up (Tap-to-Alexa accessibility option) in addition to Sign Language as an…input method. The researcher expands on the Technology Acceptance Model to study the acceptance of Alexa as an assistive technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Additionally, the researcher discusses more suitable input methods and solutions to allow Alexa, and other Intelligent Personal Assistants, be more accessible for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. METHODS: The mixed method is used in this research in terms of collecting primary data through hands-on experiments, surveys, and interviews with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing participants. RESULTS: The researcher found that the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United Arab Emirates perceive that Sign Language combined with a Live interpreter is better than the accessibility option “Tap-to-Alexa”, which is a solution provided by Amazon. The researcher also found that Sign Language combined with a Live interpreter is the most suitable input method to make the device accessible for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, in addition to translating the “Tap-to-Alexa” to different languages. Finally, the researcher proposes a modification to the Technology Acceptance Model to suit the research study of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing perception of Alexa. CONCLUSIONS: The researcher concludes that the ideal scenario for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to interact and benefit the most from Amazon’s Alexa, and IPAs in general, is to include Sign Language as an embedded input method in the device and provide live interpreters; this sheds light on the importance of the interpreters’ jobs around the world. Additionally, “Tap-to-Alexa” must be translated into different languages for a better perception of the input method.
Keywords: Deaf, Hard of Hearing, intelligent personal assistants, Alexa, interaction
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Although a number of research studies on sensor technology for smart home environments have been conducted, there is still lack of consideration of human factors in implementing sensor technology in the home of older adults with visual disabilities. OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to advance knowledge of how sensor technology (e.g., Microsoft Kinect) should be implemented in the home of those with visual disabilities. METHODS: A convenience sample of 20 older adults with visual disabilities allowed us to observe their home environments and interview about the activities of daily living, which were…analyzed via the inductive content analysis. RESULTS: Sensor technology should be integrated in the living environments of those with visual disabilities by considering various contexts, including people, tasks, tools, and environments (i.e., level-1 categories), which were further broken down into 22 level-2 categories and 28 level-3 categories. Each sub-category included adequate guidelines, which were also sorted by sensor location, sensor type, and data analysis. CONCLUSIONS: The guidelines will be helpful for researchers and professionals in implementing sensor technology in the home of older adults with visual disabilities.
Keywords: Older adults, visual disability, sensor, home, human factors
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Dynamic exoskeleton orthoses provide assistance needed to complete movements that would otherwise be impossible after stroke. Beyond the demonstration of their effectiveness, the subjective experience of dynamic orthoses also needs to be considered. OBJECTIVE: To support functional recovery after stroke through the development of Hand-TaPS (Task Practice after Stroke), an instrument to evaluate dynamic hand orthoses in home therapy. METHODS: Dynamic hand orthosis subject matter experts (N = 14), professionals and consumers, considered the items of PYTHEIA, a valid and reliable instrument merging well-tested, assistive technology (AT)…assessment items with those tuned to the greater complexity of emerging technologies. Experts reflected on how each item aligned with their personal experience of dynamic orthosis use. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guided identification of themes. RESULTS: Four themes (5/20 items) appraised highly relevant for Hand-TaPS. The remaining eight themes (15/20 items) were deemed in need of modification. CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic hand orthoses constitute a special case of AT; the assistance they provide targets therapy, not ADLs. Our work to develop Hand-TaPS provides a clear example of the theoretical difference between rehabilitative and assistive technology and underscores the importance of consideration of how a device is used in its assessment.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Persons with conditions causing mobility impairment such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and stroke (CVA) do not have accessible resources or programs that promote and sustain exercise engagement. OBJECTIVE: This study explored perceptions of fitness facility exercisers with MS, PD and CVA, and adapted fitness center trainers, regarding a decision support system (DSS), and its design and components, for promoting, guiding, and sustaining exercise engagement. METHODS: Fitness facility exercisers (n = 15) and adapted fitness center trainers (n = 5)…partook in semi-structured qualitative interviews. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. We applied thematic analysis and identified themes and sub-themes regarding perceptions, design features, and components of a DSS for promoting, guiding, and sustaining exercise engagement. RESULTS: All fitness facility exercisers and adapted fitness center trainers believed that a DSS would be a beneficial tool for exercise prescription and progression. There were concerns about individualization and safety, and participants felt that a DSS should include evidenced-based, disease-specific, and individualized exercise prescriptions as well as prescreening for contraindications and fall risk. The participants further reported that behavioral change strategies were desirable for promoting and sustaining exercise participation. CONCLUSION: The study results identified perceptions and desired features of a DSS for promoting, guiding, and sustaining exercise engagement among individuals with conditions causing mobility impairment. This information will guide development of a prototype for subsequent usability and feasibility testing.
Keywords: Decision support system, exercise, mobility impairment, exercise prescription