Assistive Technology: Impact on Education, Employment, and Independence of Individuals With Physical DisabilitiesBy Stumbo, Norma J.; Martin, Jay K.; Hedrick, Brad N.; Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vol. 30, pp. 99-110
Publication Date: 2009
Paper explores the relationships between assistive technology (AT) and individuals with disabilities in relation to their education, employment, and ability to live independently. Review of existing literature and research resulted in the following findings: (1) although greater numbers of individuals with disabilities are pursuing postsecondary education, few of them report feeling confident that they are aware of potential assistive devices for their use, nor are they likely to be evaluated for AT need by postsecondary professionals; (2) although workplace technology is important for individuals with disabilities and is usually low cost and low tech, the success of employees with disabilities using technology is often still dependent on the attitudes and policies of the employers; and (3) individuals with disabilities often compensate for functional limitations through use of AT and, sometimes, personal assistance (PA); AT is often seen as more liberating than PA because the person maintains greater control over devices than people. Based on these observations, unresolved issues concerning AT and users with disabilities are raised, including (a) the gap between existing technologies and their potential users’ awareness of their availability; (b) employers’ lack of education and negative attitudes regarding AT needs of employees with disabilities; and (c) the relationships between functional limitations, AT, and PA that most impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of daily living, achieve success in education and employment, integrate into community activities, and enjoy a high quality of life.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J57938