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: The full inclusion of people with disabilities in rehabilitation science and disabilities studies is necessary for growth and long-term success. Full inclusion of people with disabilities can only be accomplished through building research capacity and changing rehabilitation research paradigms. There must also be a national effort to build a rehabilitation research infrastructure with short- and long-range programs to recruit and train scientists with disabilities. The building of research capacity requires the cooperation and collaboration of federal agencies, national laboratories, universities, and advocacy organizations. Research capacity and research quality must be increased to achieve the goals expected by people with disabilities.
Abstract: The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Evaluation and Transfer (RERC-TET) operated from 1993 to 1998. Its objectives were to identify prototype assistive devices, evaluate their potential value for consumers, and work to commercialize those with apparent value. The RERC-TET met its objectives by evaluating hundreds of prototype assistive devices, and transferring an average of five per year to manufacturers through licenses. The RERC-TET implemented the principal of Participatory Action Research, by integrating people with disabilities in teams of technical and marketing personnel. This paper reviews the contributions of consumers to the evaluation and transfer programs conducted.
Keywords: Consumers, Technology transfer, Evaluation, Product development, Participatory action research
Abstract: The RERC on Aging is conducting a longitudinal study of the needs of older persons with disabilities for assistive devices and environmental interventions. This paper presents an analysis of the results of interviews with 508 home-based seniors, focusing on their ownership, use, and satisfaction with assistive devices. While previous reports from this RERC-Aging study indicate a relatively high rate of satisfaction with devices, this paper primarily focuses on problems consumers are having with devices they use. This paper also reports the suggestions of study participants for new devices and modifications to existing devices.
Abstract: Significant demographic and ideological changes affecting who we are, what we can do, and where we live require a world that is more accommodating to variances in mobility, vision, hearing, cognition, and manual dexterity. Universal design, in contrast to specialized design, is an approach to creating everyday environments and products that are usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age or ability. Universal design implies responsiveness to the needs of diverse users. This paper explores how consumer participation is essential to ensure that design is responsive to user needs and that it is universally usable. Four…areas of participation are examined: consumer involvement in defining user needs; consumer evaluation to inform industry and educate the consumer; consumer participation to impact regulatory requirements; and consumer assessment in design exploration and education. Moreover, consumer participation is a two-way exchange. It not only benefits designers by providing much-needed information for the design of products and environments, but also has direct and indirect benefits for those who participate. These benefits are also discussed.
Keywords: Universal design, Consumer participation, User needs, Design development
Abstract: This paper provides an overview to the concepts of user centred design and usability engineering, and shows how these concepts have been applied to develop a user centred design methodology called USERfit for the assistive technology (AT) sector. AT is defined by its markets and is targeted mainly at people who have disabilities. Its objectives are to support independent living, improve the quality of life and facilitate social integration. This paper illustrates the similarities and differences between AT and mainstream information technology design, and reveals the synergy between the two sectors. The paper draws extensively on the work of the…TIDE (Telematic Applications for the Integration of the Disabled and Elderly) funded USER project which developed the USERfit handbook of tools, methods and techniques to facilitate user centred design in the European AT sector.
Keywords: User centred design, Methodology, usability and assistive technology, Usability engineering