The Use of Computers and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices by Children and Young With Cerebral PalsyBy Garcia, Thais Pousada; Loureiro, Javier Pereira; Gonzalez, Betania Groba; Riveiro, Laura Nieto; Sierra, Alejandro Pazos; Assistive Technology, Volume 23, Number 3, pages 135-149
Publication Date: 2011
Study sought to determine the use of computers and assistive devices among children with cerebral palsy (CP) and establish the satisfaction level of both users and educational staff. Participants were 30 children with CP, aged 3 to 22 years, 19 of whom were male and 14 of whom ranged in age from 16 to 22. A questionnaire was designed to characterize the use of new technologies and assistive devices, with some of the questions reserved for the teachers. Even through 29 users showed some type of communication difficulty, only 6 of them used some type of assistive device to help them communicate. The static symbolic board was the most widely used device, reported by 4 participants. More than half, or 17, of participants reported regular use of a computer, with 16 of them requiring some type of assistive device. The most widely used technology reported was a pressure switch, alone or in combination with a scanning system, followed by a trackball and touch screen. The perception of the teachers with regard to the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in the classroom was positive in 5 out of 6 cases. ICTs were reported to provide assistance only if their application was accompanied by the involvement of professionals and the child’s social environment. Study limitations and implications for further research as well as the establishment of teacher training protocols are discussed.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
Link to text: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2011.588988