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ERIC Number: ED348832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Increasing Independence through Technology: The Views of Older Consumers with Disabilities and Their Caregivers. Consumer Needs Assessment Project Year 3: Results of the Third Year of a Five Year Study.
The goal of this third year of an ongoing 5-year study was to identify and evaluate the diverse technology and product needs of persons with functional limitations, from users' perspectives. This qualitative research study involved 14 focus groups representing 4 different categories of people; those included persons 50 years and older with sensory impairments, mobility limitations, or manual dexterity losses, or caregivers of older persons with disabilities. The study examined: group demographics; consumer needs that supersede product concerns; older consumers' orientation to technology; attitudes towards work and the workplace; product features, such as cost, safety, and ease of use; product selection criteria; consumer observations about mobility devices and communication tools; information channels for learning about consumer products; general recommendations for product improvement; creative solutions to consumer needs; and "wish list" items. The study concluded that orientation to technologies did not appear to be a function of age, that design features were the most formidable obstacles to product use, and that a sense of autonomy was important to older people with functional limitations. (JDD)
Descriptors: Assistive Devices (for Disabled), Caregivers, Communication Aids (for Disabled), Consumer Economics, Disabilities, Employee Attitudes, Employment, Equipment Evaluation, Focus Groups, Hearing Impairments, Independent Living, Individual Characteristics, Merchandise Information, Mobility Aids, Needs Assessment, Normalization (Handicapped), Older Adults, Physical Disabilities, Rehabilitation, Selection, Technology, 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 301 455-458.