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A model for Developing and Prescribing Assistive Technology Devices

Buning  Mary Ellen  
【摘要】:正This paper describes a model for rehabilitation professionals to consider when they de-sign new systems for delivering A ssistive Technology devices and services. Background: Many AssistiveTechnology(AT) devices to assist persons with disabilities in their daily life are already available in theWestern world. The large number of choices may confuse a rehabilitation professional. Where do you be-gin? How do you prescribe and recommend AT devices? New AT devices should meet the needs of peo-ple with disabilities. Because there are mayn different customs and each custom has environments for liv-ing and working, the devices in one culture may not be successful in another. How can engineers and prod-uct designers begin to consider these special needs? Method The guiding principle for prescribing or de-veloping AT devices is that professionals begin with the person who has a disability. First, the person whohas the disability must be respectfully asked about the actions they wish to be able to do although he orshe is unable to do because of impairments. Second, this information must be compared with professionalknowledge about the person’s missing or impaired performance skills, (e. g., missing limb, weakness, in-coordination, blindness or paralysis)and knowledge about the person’s strong performance skills in orderto devise a useful solution. Finally, with this information the rehabilitation professional or the product en-gineer can begin to solve the interesting puzzle of how to enable the person who is handicapped. A "dam-aged/performance skill only requires that the desired activity be accomplished in a different way. The so-lution is like a bridge that crosses a river. The AT device is the “bridge” that connects the person with adisability to their destination, i. e., the activities, tasks, and roles that will make a full and satisfying life.The bridge gives the person with a disability a wya do a desired activity in a different but possible way.The AT device may be a wheelchair to substitute for walking, a microprocessor controlled speech synthe-sizer to compensate for loss of speech or a computer with a special keyboard for to compensate for weak-ness or incoordination.Result Thsi paper presentation will present the examples in pictures of severalpersons who are successfully using carefully chosen AT devices to accomplish their dreams-working,go-ing to school,caring for their family,taking care of their personal needs,These dreams are the samedreams that any person without a disability may have for their future.Only the bridge to the future desti-nation for the person with a disability must be more carefully designed and built.Conclusion A modelfor guidnig the development ane delivery of AT devices Will lead to greater success for rehabilitationmedicine.Special training in AT and certification for AT devices will lead to greater success for rehabilita-tion medicine.Special training in AT and Certification for AT providers by a group like RESNA(http://www.resna.org/)will support development of“client-centered”services and lead to excellent practiceand development of assistive technology devices.

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