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Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA

Mohammad Khodadadi, Mina Arab Baniasad, Mokhtar Arazpour, Farzam Farahmand, Hassan Zohoor
BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of shoulder pain in using walkers in patients who have spinal cord injury (SCI). Also, the limited options available to economically measure grip forces in walkers, which drove the need to create one. OBJECTIVE: This paper describes a method to obtain upper extremities' forces and moments in a person with SCI by designing an appropriate instrumented walker. STUDY DESIGN: Case report. METHODS: First, since the commercial multidirectional loadcells are too expensive, custom loadcells are fabricated...
February 26, 2018: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Erin Perfect, Atul Jaiswal, Theresa Claire Davies
The purpose of this study is to systematically review published evidence regarding the development, use and effectiveness of assistive devices and technologies that enable internet access for individuals who are deafblind. Eight electronic research databases (CINAHL, Embase, Engineering Village MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science) and three clinical trials registries (ISRCTN Registry, WHO ICTRP, and ClinicalTrials,gov) were searched. Seven articles met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review...
February 26, 2018: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Sebastian Fudickar, Jörn Kiselev, Thomas Frenken, Sandra Wegel, Slavica Dimitrowska, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Andreas Hein
INTRODUCTION: To initiate appropriate interventions and avoid physical decline, comprehensive measurements are needed to detect functional changes in elderly people at the earliest possible stage. The established Timed Up&Go (TUG) test takes little time and, due to its standardized and easy procedure, can be conducted by elderly people in their own homes without clinical guidance. Therefore, cheap light barriers and force sensors are well suited ambient sensors that could easily be attached to existing (arm)chairs to measure and report TUG times in order to identify functional decline...
February 26, 2018: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Hauke Horstmann, Eva Krost, Bastian Welke, Arno Kerling, Alexander Hanke, Eike Jakubowitz, Thomas Sanjay Weber-Spickschen
The goals of knee rehabilitation are to improve range of motion and muscle status. The aim of the study was to investigate accuracy and reproducibility of a newly designed knee-training device (KT) under standardized laboratory conditions. Two application-based software programs, one to measure maximum force and one intended to improve users' coordination were developed to be used on a tablet during exercises wireless connected to KT placed under the popliteal fossa. KT was loaded for twenty intervals of 15 seconds (s) ranging between 0-350 Newton (N) each...
February 21, 2018: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Shawn G Ehlers, William E Field
This research focused on the advancements made in enabling agricultural workers with impaired mobility to access and operate off-road agricultural machinery. Though not a new concept, technological advancements in remote-controlled lifts, electronic actuators, electric over hydraulic controllers, and various modes of hand controls have advanced significantly allowing operators with limited mobility to resume a high level of productivity in agricultural-related enterprises. In the U.S., approximately 1.7% of the population is living with some form of paralysis or significant mobility impairment...
February 14, 2018: Assistive Technology: the Official Journal of RESNA
Ara J Schmitt, Elizabeth McCallum, Renee O Hawkins, Emily Stephenson, Kenneth Vicencio
This study compared the effectiveness of two assistive technologies to accommodate the word reading skills of four middle school students with reading learning disabilities. Kurzweil 3000 is a continuous text-to-speech (TTS) computer software program that allows students to follow along on a computer monitor while passages of text are read aloud. A reading pen is a discontinuous TTS assistive technology device that allows students to scan and hear read aloud words selected by the student. An adapted alternating treatments design was implemented to compare the effects of listening-while-reading using continuous TTS assistive technology, discontinuous TTS assistive technology, and silently reading without accommodation on reading comprehension accuracy and rate...
January 25, 2018: 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
This study was 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 assessments. Twenty-four participants were recruited and required to wear an accelerometer on the affected wrist for 3 hours daily 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
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 29, 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 1,689 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 article 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 assesses the tool regarding usability and viability on a heterogeneous group of 11 participants, aged 5 to 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
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 article, 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 four 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 of 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
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