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Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA

John W McCarthy, Jamie B Boster
Although recent evidence suggests learning demands for children can be reduced by organizing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) displays in contextual scenes, there is little evidence on how such scenes could be made accessible for children who cannot use direct selection. Using a line drawn scene of a living room, a traditional traveling cursor (a green outline of objects within the scene) was compared with sequential animation-logically matching the function of items in the scene (e.g., hands of a clock moving, a lamp turning on and off, etc...
April 21, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Heidi Horstmann Koester, Sajay Arthanat
This study systematically reviewed the research on assistive technology (AT) access interfaces used for text entry, and conducted a quantitative synthesis of text entry rates (TER) associated with common interfaces. We searched 10 databases and included studies in which: typing speed was reported in words per minute (WPM) or equivalent; the access interface was available for public use; and individuals with physical impairments were in the study population. For quantitative synthesis, we used only the TER reported for individuals with physical impairments...
April 3, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Matjaž Ogrinc Ms, Ildar Farkhatdinov PhD, Rich Walker Ms, Etienne Burdet
We present a haptic interface to help deafblind people to practice horseback riding as a recreational and therapeutic activity. Horseback riding is a form of therapy which can improve self-esteem and sensation of independence. It has been shown to benefit people with various medical conditions-including autism. However, in the case of deafblind riders, an interpreter must stand by at all times to communicate with the rider by touch. We developed a simple interface that enables deafblind people to enjoy horseback riding while the instructor is remotely providing cues, which improves their independence...
March 27, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Soran Jalal Abdullah, Javeed Shaikh Mohammed
Independent mobility is vital to individuals of all ages, and wheelchairs have proven to be great personal mobility devices. The tasks of opening and navigating through a door are trivial for healthy people, while the same tasks could be difficult for some wheelchair users. A wide range of intelligent wheelchair controllers and systems, robotic arms, or manipulator attachments integrated with wheelchairs have been developed for various applications, including manipulating door knobs. Unfortunately, the intelligent wheelchairs and robotic attachments are not widely available as commercial products...
March 27, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Mwaffaq Otoom, Mohammad A Alzubaidi
Sign language can be used to facilitate communication with and between deaf or hard of hearing (Deaf/HH). With the advent of video streaming applications in smart TVs and mobile devices, it is now possible to use sign language to communicate over worldwide networks. In this article, we develop a prototype assistive device for real-time speech-to-sign translation. The proposed device aims at enabling Deaf/HH people to access and understand materials delivered in mobile streaming videos through the applications of pipelined and parallel processing for real-time translation, and the application of eye-tracking based user-satisfaction detection to support dynamic learning to improve speech-to-signing translation...
February 2, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Marten Haesner, Johan Chandra, Anika Steinert, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen
Older adults are exposed to computer-based applications daily. However, most websites and applications are not specifically developed for older adults. Studies have shown that older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) behave differently from older adults without MCI in website usage. Eye tracking is a valuable tool to assess users' eye movement behavior in relation to website usability. Understanding the differences in web navigational behavior between older adults with and without MCI would be helpful for developing websites for this target group...
February 2, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Sharon Stansfield, Carole Dennis, Rachel Altman, Janelle Smith, Hélène Larin
The onset of crawling in infants contributes to cognitive, perceptual, social, and emotional development. Conversely, infants with motor impairment that delays or prevents autonomous mobility often have associated developmental delays. Evidence suggests that providing mobility may have positive developmental outcomes, however powered wheelchairs may not be recommended for very young children, due to safety concerns and the child's level of cognitive maturity. The WeeBot is a mobility device controlled by infant weight shifting while seated; infants as young as 5 months have learned to use it...
February 2, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Sue C Lin, Robert S Gold
Assistive technology (AT) enhances the ability of individuals with disabilities to be fully engaged in activities at home, at school, and within their communities-especially for children with developmental disabilities (DD) with physical, sensory, learning, and/or communication impairments. The prevalence of children with DD in the United States has risen from 12.84% in 1997 to 15.04% in 2008. Thus, it is important to monitor the status of their AT needs, functional difficulties, services utilization, and coordination...
January 31, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Jared M Batterman, Vincent F Martin, Derek Yeung, Bruce N Walker
Accessibility of assistive consumer devices is an emerging research area with potential to benefit both users with and without visual impairments. In this article, we discuss the research and evaluation of using a tactile button interface to control an iOS device's native VoiceOver Gesture navigations (Apple Accessibility, 2014). This research effort identified potential safety and accessibility issues for users trying to interact and control their touchscreen mobile iOS devices while traveling independently...
January 31, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Azadeh Nazemi, Chandrika Fernando, Iain Murray, David A McMeekin
Vision-impaired people access documents using screen readers. Electronic documents may contain non-textual components, non-linear components, and multidimensional components, such as mathematical expressions and graphs. These components create a number of accessibility issues for those who use screen readers as assistive technology. The research presented here describes mathematical information retrieval, and accessible and navigable representation of mathematical function graphs as solutions to these issues...
January 13, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Kamiar Ghoseiri, Yong Ping Zheng, Aaron K L Leung, Mehdi Rahgozar, Gholamreza Aminian, Mehdi Masoumi, Mohammad Reza Safari
The snug fit of a prosthetic socket over the residual limb can disturb thermal balance and put skin integrity in jeopardy by providing an unpleasant and infectious environment. The prototype of a temperature measurement and control (TM&C) system was previously introduced to resolve thermal problems related to prostheses. This study evaluates its clinical application in a setting with reversal, single subject design. The TM&C system was installed on fabricated prosthetic socket of a man with unilateral transtibial amputation...
January 5, 2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
C S Wilhite, W E Field, M Jaramillo
This feasibility study explored the utility of using a pressure mapping instrument to explore the variable of pressure under subjects sitting on a commonly used tractor seat, and four other cushion interventions. The research model used single-subject with repeated measures during simulated tractor operation. In examining the graphical images and pressure mapping data available from the instrument; the contour tractor seat used in this study was not sufficient in redistributing pressure for people with paraplegia operating tractors, putting them at greater risk for acquiring a pressure ulcer...
2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Sajjad Taghvaei, Mohammad Hasan Jahanandish, Kazuhiro Kosuge
Population aging of the societies requires providing the elderly with safe and dependable assistive technologies in daily life activities. Improving the fall detection algorithms can play a major role in achieving this goal. This article proposes a real-time fall prediction algorithm based on the acquired visual data of a user with walking assistive system from a depth sensor. In the lack of a coupled dynamic model of the human and the assistive walker a hybrid "system identification-machine learning" approach is used...
2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Emily L Horton, Ramkesh Renganathan, Bryan N Toth, Alexa J Cohen, Andrea V Bajcsy, Amelia Bateman, Mathew C Jennings, Anish Khattar, Ryan S Kuo, Felix A Lee, Meilin K Lim, Laura W Migasiuk, Amy Zhang, Oliver K Zhao, Marcio A Oliveira
To lay the groundwork for devising, improving, and implementing new technologies to meet the needs of individuals with visual impairments, a systematic literature review was conducted to: a) describe hardware platforms used in assistive devices, b) identify their various applications, and c) summarize practices in user testing conducted with these devices. A search in relevant EBSCO databases for articles published between 1980 and 2014 with terminology related to visual impairment, technology, and tactile sensory adaptation yielded 62 articles that met the inclusion criteria for final review...
2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Konstantinos Papadopoulos, Eleni Koustriava, Panagiotis Koukourikos, Lefkothea Kartasidou, Marialena Barouti, Asimis Varveris, Marina Misiou, Timoclia Zacharogeorga, Theocharis Anastasiadis
Disorientation and inability of wayfinding are phenomena with a great frequency for individuals with visual impairments during the process of travelling novel environments. Orientation and mobility aids could suggest important tools for the preparation of a more secure and cognitively mapped travelling. The aim of the present study was to examine if spatial knowledge structured after an individual with blindness had studied the map of an urban area that was delivered through a verbal description, an audio-tactile map or an audio-haptic map, could be used for detecting in the area specific points of interest...
2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Nikolaus Blow, Pradipta Biswas
As computers become more and more essential for everyday life, people who cannot use them are missing out on an important tool. The predominant method of interaction with a screen is a mouse, and difficulty in using a mouse can be a huge obstacle for people who would otherwise gain great value from using a computer. If mouse pointing were to be made easier, then a large number of users may be able to begin using a computer efficiently where they may previously have been unable to. The present article aimed to improve pointing speeds for people with arm or hand impairments...
2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Mei-Tai Chu, Rajiv Khosla, Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Khaksar, Khanh Nguyen
Assistive technologies, such as robots, have proven to be useful in a social context and to improve the quality of life for people with dementia (PwD). This study aims to show how the engagement between two social robots and PwD in Australian residential care facilities can improve care quality. An observational method is adopted in the research methodology to discover behavioural patterns during interactions between the robots and PwD. This observational study has undertaken to explore the improvement arising from: (1) approaching social baby-face robots (AR), (2) experiencing pleasure engaging with the robots (P), (3) interacting with the robots (IR), and (4) interacting with others (IO)...
2017: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
M Hochhauser, P L Weiss, E Gal
Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have particular difficulty in negotiating conflict. A randomized control trial (RCT) was carried out to determine whether the negotiation strategies of adolescents with ASD would be enhanced via a 6-week intervention based on a video modeling application. Adolescents with ASD, aged 12-18 years, were randomly divided into an intervention group (n = 36) and a non-treatment control group (n = 25). Participants' negotiating strategies prior to and following the intervention were measured using the Five Factor Negotiation Scale (FFNS; Nakkula & Nikitopoulos, 1999) and the ConflicTalk questionnaire (Kimsey & Fuller, 2003)...
December 21, 2016: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
François Routhier, Josiane Lettre, William C Miller, Jaimie F Borisoff, Kate Keetch, Ian M Mitchell, CanWheel Research Team
In recent years, studies have increasingly employed data logger technologies to record objective driving and physiological characteristics of manual wheelchair users. However, the technologies used offer significant differences in characteristics such as measured outcomes, ease of use and level of burden. In order to identify and describe the extent of published research activity that relies on data logger technologies for manual wheelchair users, we performed a scoping review of the scientific and grey literature...
November 15, 2016: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Pascal Molteni, Thomas Hügle, Maria Hügle, Corina Nüesch, Annegret Mündermann
Walking with crutches is an effective way of reducing the load on the lower extremity and is often indicated after injury or surgery. However, walking with forearm crutches with conventional cuffs can trigger symptoms including tenosynovitis in the biceps tendon, ulnar neuropraxia at the wrist, pain or skin hematoma. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a crutch cuff design with an ulnar recess reduces ulnar pressure during walking with forearm crutches. The pressure distribution between the forearm and crutch cuff was measured in 15 healthy participants for crutch walking with conventional and novel cuffs, respectively...
October 7, 2016: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
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