ERIC Number: ED348831
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Design for All: Consumer Needs Assessment Project Year 2. Results of the Second Year of a Five Year Study.
This paper describes the second year of a 5-year study of the needs of individuals with disabilities as they relate to consumer products. The study employed focus group research techniques in which group members responded to issues and raised their own concerns regarding general products and equipment specially designed for persons with disabilities. The study involved three groups; each group consisted of persons with the following disabilities: cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Focus group discussions often included areas beyond the realm of technology, such as the need for more and affordable services to assist persons with disabilities, the need to combat ignorance and stereotypes, the need for companionship and socialization, and others. Product features cited by focus groups included cost, durability, maneuverability, ease of assembly and disassembly, reliability, controls, safety features, simple instructions, aesthetics, and ability to keep devices in place during use. Other issues discussed included information sources about products, difficulties in choosing devices, trade-offs in using devices, and consumer interest in testing devices. Specific types of products are examined, including controls, computers, mobility devices, kitchen appliances, grooming and dressing devices, and communication tools. The report presents "wish list" items compiled by each disability group, and concludes with creative solutions used by focus group members to cope with their needs. A moderator's guide for focus group discussion is attached. (JDD)
Descriptors: Adults, Assistive Devices (for Disabled), Cerebral Palsy, Communication Aids (for Disabled), Consumer Economics, Disabilities, Equipment Evaluation, Focus Groups, Head Injuries, Individual Needs, Mobility Aids, Needs Assessment, Neurological Impairments, Normalization (Handicapped), Qualitative Research, Rehabilitation, Technology
Publication Type: Reports - Research
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.