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ERIC Number: EJ899221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 42
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1938-727X
Beyond Technology Transfer: Quality of Life Impacts from R&D Outcomes
Stone, Vathsala I.; Lockett, Michelle; Usiak, Douglas J.; Arthanat, Sajay
Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, v6 n1 p87-128 Sum 2010
This paper presents methodology and findings from three product efficacy studies that verify the quality of life benefits resulting from prior research, development, and transfer activities. The paper then discusses key lessons learned with implications for product evaluation practice. The studies assessed the quality of three assistive technology (AT) products transferred to market by the University at Buffalo's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer (T[superscript 2]RERC) and their value to consumers with disabilities. The purpose was to focus on outcome evaluation and seek evidence of effectiveness for the transfer process. Findings showed differences among the three products regarding their impact on end users in terms of satisfaction with product quality and product acceptance. The product most successful on all quality and value indicators was an automatic jar opener designed for persons with limited hand function. The other two--a computer software product designed to facilitate mouse pointer use by persons with limited hand function or with low vision, and a voice interactive thermostat, designed for persons with total or partial visual impairment--were less successful. They showed mixed results. Not many consumers were satisfied with the technical quality or usability of the latter two products. Of the two, the thermostat was slightly better accepted and valued by users. Differences in impact were found to follow from differences in the way evaluation information was utilized by the three product development processes. A case is made for systematic and timely use of evaluation throughout the development process in shaping a product of quality and value, in the context of the intended end users of AT. (Contains 16 figures and 12 tables.)
Assistive Technology Industry Association and SEAT Center. Available from: SEAT Center, Special Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5910, Normal, IL 61790. Tel: 309-438-7811; Fax: 309-830-0999; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York