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ERIC Number: ED348830
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Consumer Needs Assessment: A Qualitative Study of the Needs of People with Disabilities. Consumer Needs Assessment Project Year 1: Results of the First Year of a Five Year Study.
This paper describes the first year of a 5-year study which, when completed, will identify the needs and concerns of disabled consumers from virtually all categories of functional limitations and all walks of life. The participants will include men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 from a variety of socioeconomic and geographical backgrounds. In the first year of the study, data were collected at 12 focus group sessions involving individuals in 4 functional limitation categories: blindness, low vision, upper extremity motor impairments, and lower extremity motor impairments. Categories of need that emerged throughout the focus groups were safety/health, privacy, independence, convenience, and employability. Two areas of concern not directly related to technological needs also emerged: attitudes and money. The paper concludes that: (1) the single most often identified need is for a better understanding by the general population of the needs of people with disabilities; (2) many focus group participants did not see new technology as the answer to their problems; and (3) access to computers is key to increased independence, employment potential, and increased convenience. A moderator's guide for use with the focus groups is appended. (JDD)
Descriptors: Adults, Assistive Devices (for Disabled), Attitudes, Blindness, Employment Potential, Financial Support, Focus Groups, Health, Independent Living, Needs Assessment, Normalization (Handicapped), Partial Vision, Personal Autonomy, Physical Disabilities, Privacy, Public Opinion, Qualitative Research, Rehabilitation, Safety, Visual Impairments
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Electronic Industries Foundation, Washington, DC. Rehabilitation Engineering Center.
Note: For related documents, see EC 301 456-458.