Computer-Based Assistive Technology Device for Use by Children With Physical Disabilities: A Cross-Sectional StudyBy Lidstroem, Helene; Almqvist, Lena; Hemmingsson, Helena; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 7, Number 4, pages 287-293
Publication Date: 2012
Study investigated the prevalence of children with physical disabilities who used a computer based assistive technology device (ATD). In addition, the investigation examined differences in characteristics in child and youth users versus nonusers of computer based ATDs as well as differences that might influence the satisfaction of those two groups when computers are used for in-school and outside-school activities. Participants were 287 children and youths with physical disabilities aged 10 to 18 years who were recruited through several county rehabilitation centers in Sweden. Participants completed a 21 question survey. The prevalence of using computer based ATDs was about 44 percent of respondents. Of those, 47 used the computer as an ATD without any special computer applications. Examples of computer input interfaces used were a nonstandard keyboard, an alternative mouse such as a roller ball or joystick, and switches. The vast majority of ATD users seemed to use their computers and the ATDs as a compensatory tool for their lack of fine motor skills. Only a few children and youth used an advanced computer input device such as a speech recognition program to control the computer. ATD users were less satisfied with their computer use in education and outside school activities than the children who did not use an ATD. In addition, ATD users were more satisfied with their computer use outside school than in school. Almost half of these children indicated being dissatisfied with the service provided in relation to their computer based ATD. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )
Link to text: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17483107.2011.635332