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Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA

Patrick Emeka Okonji, Darlinton Chukwunalu Ogwezzy
Assistive Technology (AT); broadly defined as specialist equipment designed to promote computer access for people with disabilities, is increasingly becoming popular among people with vision impairment as computer use becomes commonplace in society. In developing and emerging economies, however, the adoption of ATs continues to lag behind the developed countries. This study explored barriers to adoption of assistive technologies among visually impaired people in five southern states in Nigeria. A mixed method approach that employed qualitative interviews with 20 participants and structured questionnaires among 423 participants aged between 20 and 92 was employed...
December 29, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Lauren Rosen, Teresa Plummer, Andrina Sabet, Michelle L Lange, Roslyn Livingstone
This is an official RESNA Position Paper on Clinical and Professional Practice. As such, it has been prepared in accordance with the specific guidelines and approval process defined by the RESNA Board of Directors for Position Papers. See for a complete description of this procedure. Key aspects of this procedure include: Establishment of a Working Group of three or more experts to author the paper, using evidence from the published literature, documented best practices, and other input from experts in the field as the basis for the content...
December 12, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Serhat Kurt
The World Wide Web is an extremely powerful source of information, inspiration, ideas, and opportunities. As such, it has become an integral part of daily life for a great majority of people. Yet for a significant number of others, the internet offers only limited value due to the existence of barriers which make accessing the Web difficult, if not impossible. This article illustrates some of the reasons that achieving equality of access to the online world of education is so critical, explores the current status of Web accessibility, discusses evaluative tools and methods that can help identify accessibility issues in educational websites, and provides practical recommendations and guidelines for resolving some of the obstacles that currently hinder the achievability of the goal of universal Web access...
December 8, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Wayne X J Wei, Kenneth N K Fong, Raymond C K Chung, Jennifer M W W Myint, Hobby K Y Cheung, Eddie S L Chow
The objectives of this study were to investigate the utility of a unilateral accelerometer, which is commonly used for monitoring upper extremity performance in subacute stroke patients by comparing its use with other upper extremity functional assessments. Twenty-four participants were recruited and required to wear an accelerometer on the affected wrist for 3 hours a day for the first 4 weeks after discharge from hospital. Assessments included Fugl-Meyer Assessment-Upper Extremity (FMA-UE), Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), Box and Block Test (BBT), and self-reporting Motor Activity Log (MAL)...
December 7, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Stephen Sprigle, Susan Johnson Taylor
The objective of this study was to describe the provision of wheeled-mobility equipment from the perspective of a large equipment supplier in the United States. The records of clients who were prescribed a mobility device over a 6-month period were randomly sampled to product a dataset of 1689 clients. Analysis was limited to descriptive statistics and measures of relationships. The majority of the clients were adults (72%) and female (58%) with 62% receiving a manual wheelchair. The majority of interventions (58%) included some contribution from the client or client's family...
November 28, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Martina Eckert, Marcos López, Carlos Lázaro, Juan Meneses
Currently, virtual applications for physical exercises are highly appreciated as rehabilitation instruments. This paper presents a middleware called "MoKey" (Motion Keyboard), which converts standard off-the-shelf software into exergames (exercise games). A configurable set of gestures, captured by a motion capture camera, is translated into the key strokes required by the chosen software. The present study assessed the tool regarding usability and viability on a heterogeneous group of 11 participants, aged 5-51, with moderate to severe disabilities, and mostly bound to a wheelchair...
November 27, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Matt P Malcolm, Marla C Roll
The impact of assistive technology (AT) services for college students with less-apparent disabilities is under-reported. Using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), we assessed student Performance and Satisfaction ratings of common academic tasks at the start and end of a semester during which 105 student-clients with less-apparent disabilities received AT services. We examined if COPM initial and change scores related to personal characteristics of gender, class-level (e.g., Sophomore), and STEM education; if personal characteristics predicted a student's follow-through with an AT service referral (n = 231); and if personal characteristics and initial COPM scores predicted dropout from AT services (n = 187)...
November 20, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Elena Dukhovny, Jennifer J Thistle
For individuals who rely on speech-generating devices (SGDs) to complement and substitute for spoken language, speed, and accuracy of access to the device are paramount for effective communication. There is some evidence that application of motor memory principles may improve effectiveness of SGD-based communication. This article reviews motor learning models and principles, including learning stages, types of practice, and environmental factors that affect learning, and highlights the potential applications of these principles in dynamic display SGD design, intervention, and research...
November 13, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Sandra Bedaf, Patrizia Marti, Luc De Witte
This multi-perspective study focuses on how a service robot for the elderly should behave when interacting with potential users. An existing service robot and a scenario were used as a concrete case which was discussed and analyzed during focus group sessions with older adults (n = 38), informal caregivers (n = 24) and professional caregivers (n = 35) in the Netherlands, France and the UK. A total of seven topics-privacy, task execution, environment, appearance, behavior, visitors and communication-were explored...
November 10, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Amanda K Hall, Uba Backonja, Ian Painter, Maya Cakmak, Minjung Sung, Timothy Lau, Hilaire J Thompson, George Demiris
As the number of older adults living with chronic conditions continues to rise, they will require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) and healthcare tasks to continue living independently in their homes. One proposed solution to assist with the care needs of an aging population and a shrinking healthcare workforce is robotic technology. Using a cross-sectional survey design, we purposively sampled adults (≥18 years old) to assess generational acceptance and perceived usefulness of robots to assist with ADLs, healthcare tasks, and evaluate acceptance of robotic healthcare assistance across different settings...
November 10, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Heather C Humphreys, Young Mi Choi, Wayne J Book
This research aims to improve patient transfers by developing a new type of advanced robotic assist device. It has multiple actuated degrees of freedom and a powered steerable base, to maximize maneuverability around obstacles. An intuitive interface and control strategy allows the caregiver to simply push on the machine in the direction of desired patient motion. The control integrates measurements of both force and proximity to mitigate any potential large collision forces and provides operators information about obstacles with a form of haptic feedback...
October 24, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Joan Pahisa-Solé, Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí
In this paper, we describe a compansion system that transforms the telegraphic language that comes from the use of pictogram-based Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) into natural language. The system was tested with 4 participants with severe cerebral palsy and ranging degrees of linguistic competence and intellectual disabilities. Participants had used pictogram-based AAC at least for the past 30 years each and presented a stable linguistic profile. During tests, which consisted in a total of 40 sessions, participants were able to learn new linguistic skills, such as the use of basic verb tenses, while using the compansion system, which proved a source of motivation...
October 18, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Eitan Raveh, Isabella Schwartz, Naama Karniel, Sigal Portnoy
Regaining the ability to independently ambulate following a physical disability can increase functional ability and participation of patients in daily life. Gait trainers are assistive devices that enable body support and provide safety during gait. However, most conventional gait trainers are pre-configured to a constant position, therefore not suitable for practicing sit-to-stand function, and require assistance from a caregiver in order to mount the device from a sitting position. We therefore evaluated the effectiveness of a dynamically-adjusting gait trainer, designed to provide independence and safety during gait and various activities, in both lab setting and at home in four subjects (one female, three males, ages 32-79 years) with limited ambulation...
October 16, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
N Hoffman, P S Sterkenburg, E Van Rensburg
Persons with an intellectual disability (ID) are at risk of developing separation anxiety (SA) and, if left untreated, this can be a risk factor for the development of psychopathology. The effects of an intervention, namely technology assisted therapy for SA (TTSA), were examined on the SA, challenging behavior, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life (QOL) experienced by moderate to mild intellectually and visually disabled adults. This study aimed to determine whether TTSA reduces SA and challenging behavior in persons with ID and visual impairment, and if this results in increased psychosocial functioning and QOL...
October 16, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Yoon-Hee Choi, Jung-Doo Kim, Jun-Ho Lee, Yong-Jun Cha
This study examined whether the walking and balance ability of adult patients with chronic hemiplegic stroke are associated differentially with the degree of gain after two types of gait intervention. Twenty-four subjects with hemiplegic stroke were enrolled in this randomized study. Each subject participated in one of two gait intervention strategies: gait training with auditory feedback caused by active weight bearing on the paralyzed side (experimental group; EG), or general gait intervention over the ground (control group; CG)...
October 4, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Liang Qin Liu, Martin Ferguson-Pell
The objective of this article is to examine dynamic changes of ischial blood perfusion during sacral nerve root stimulation against surface functional electrical stimulation (FES). Fourteen adults with suprasacral spinal cord injury (SCI) were recruited. The gluteal maximus was activated by surface FES or stimulating sacral nerve roots by functional magnetic stimulation (FMS) or a sacral anterior root stimulator implant (SARS). Ischial skin index of hemoglobin (IHB) and oxygenation (IOX) was measured.Skin blood perfusion was significantly higher during FMS than the baseline (IHB 1...
September 29, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Åsa Larsson Ranada, Helene Lidström
The service delivery process (SDP) of assistive technology devices (ATDs) is attracting interest, as the provision of ATDs is critical for the independence and participation in society of individuals with disabilities. The purpose of the current study was to investigate what impact the SDP has on satisfaction with ATDs in individuals with disabilities in relation to everyday activities. A systematic literature review was conducted, which resulted in 53 articles included. The results showed that there are factors in almost all the different steps of the SDP that affect the satisfaction with of the devices, which can lead to underutilization and abandonment of ATDs...
September 11, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Hung-Yue Chang, Ching-Hsing Luo, Tun-Shin Lo, Hsiao-Chuan Chen, Kuo-You Huang, Wen-Huei Liao, Mao-Chang Su, Shu-Yu Liu, Nan-Mai Wang
This study investigated whether a self-designed assistive listening device (ALD) that incorporates an adaptive dynamic range optimization (ADRO) amplification strategy can surpass a commercially available monaurally worn linear ALD, SM100. Both subjective and objective measurements were implemented. Mandarin Hearing-In-Noise Test (MHINT) scores were the objective measurement, whereas participant satisfaction was the subjective measurement. The comparison was performed in a mixed design (i.e., subjects' hearing status being mild or moderate, quiet versus noisy, and linear versus ADRO scheme)...
August 28, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Stephanie Wong, Ben Mortenson, Bonita Sawatzky
A rear mounted, powered, drive wheel has been developed to assist with mobility for manual wheelchairs. The version tested operates in two modes (indoor and outdoor). To start in the indoor mode users must initiate propulsion with sufficient force to trigger the motor. To stop users must apply a braking force through the handrims. . The objectives of this study were to compare (1) the minimum force required to start a wheelchair with and without the drive, and (2) the distances and forces needed to stop a wheelchair at different treadmill speeds with and without the device...
August 18, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Alejandro Caña-Pino, Maria Dolores Apolo-Arenas, Javier Moral-Blanco, Ernesto De la Cruz-Sánchez, Luis Espejo-Antúnez
The objectives of this study are to determine the displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) and its association with the spectral energy density of the acceleration required for the maintenance of postural balance in different standing positions in healthy participants using design observational and setting laboratorial studies. Participants were 30 healthy university students aged between 18 and 32 years old (mean [M] ± standard deviation [SD] = 21,57 ± 3,31 years). Triaxial accelerometer and a pressure platform were used in order to obtain energy spectral density and CoP sway measurements during four balance tasks...
August 18, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
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