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ERIC Number: EJ906614
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0342-5282
A Method for Selection of Appropriate Assistive Technology for Computer Access
Jenko, Mojca
International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, v33 n4 p298-305 Dec 2010
Assistive technologies (ATs) for computer access enable people with disabilities to be included in the information society. Current methods for assessment and selection of the most appropriate AT for each individual are nonstandardized, lengthy, subjective, and require substantial clinical experience of a multidisciplinary team. This manuscript presents and evaluates an objective approach to test and select an appropriate AT for computer access for people with disabilities. Six user interfaces (standard keyboard, mini and large joystick, mini and large trackball, and head-operated mouse and keyboard) were tested on the control group of 29 people without disabilities and on 63 people with neuromuscular and muscular diseases, using purpose-built software for testing the speed of sentence typing. Different criteria for selecting the optimal AT were tested and compared with the skilled clinician's choice. The learning curves of the people with disabilities proved to follow those of the healthy controls, but with lower performance. Daily computer use was not associated with AT selection, but corresponded nearly perfectly to the level of functional ability of upper limbs. Agreement between clinician's choice and learning-based AT selection was noteworthy, but far from perfect. If partial agreement was taken into account, that is, AT was considered as an ordinal variable based on the corresponding functional ability level, and the second best learning-based choice was taken into account, the agreement was high for highest median typing speed as AT selection criterion. In conclusion, the developed method for AT assessment and selection seems to be an efficient guide for an unskilled clinician to choose an appropriate AT.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A