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‘If you leave it with me I will work it out’ : the benefits and challenges in using mainstream devices as assistive technologies for people with disabilities
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Denise WoodDenise Wood, P Raghavendra, J Sampson, S Scutter, C Bilsborow, C Fry, M Charlesworth, I Kirk
The increasing availability of mobile technologies incorporating universal design features has provided a more affordable assistive technology solution for many people with disabilities. However, several authors caution that there are possible negative by-products associated with this trend, highlighting the need for further research into the benefits and challenges of using mainstream devices as assistive technologies. This paper reports the interim findings of a project involving the trial of iPads with two participant co-researchers who have physical disabilities and ten residents of a high support institution for people with disabilities. The project methodology involved: 1) evaluation of participants’ use of the devices; 2) pre- and post-intervention testing using goal attainment scaling; 3) training and ongoing support in use of the device; and 4) analysis of user satisfaction with the iPad using a modified version of the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology instrument. The study contributes to the growing evidence-base exploring the potential of mainstream mobile devices as assistive technologies and highlights areas for further research and development.