Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA (ASSIST TECHNOL)

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Journal description

Assistive Technology is the one journal that meets the concerns of all practitioners involved in the application of assistive technology and rehabilitation technologies and the delivery of related services. The journal seeks to foster communication among researchers, developers, clinicians, educators, consumer and others working in all aspects of the assistive technology arena.

Current impact factor: 0.51

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2009 Impact Factor 0.659

Additional details

5-year impact 0.84
Cited half-life 8.10
Immediacy index 0.05
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.18
Website Assistive Technology website
Other titles Assistive technology (Online)
ISSN 1040-0435
OCLC 61311088
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objectives of the current study were to compare intra-socket pressure differences between comfortable and uncomfortable socket conditions, and the usefulness of subject perception of satisfaction, activity limitations, and socket comfort in distinguishing between these two socket conditions. Five unilateral trans-tibial amputees took part in the study. They answered the Socket Comfort Score (SCS) and Trinity Amputation and Prosthetic Experience Scale (TAPES) questionnaires before the interface pressure (in standing and walking) was measured for the uncomfortable socket condition at five regions of the residual limb. Participants were then provided with a comfortable socket and wore it for two weeks. Participants who were satisfied with the socket fit after two weeks repeated the SCS and TAPES questionnaires and interface pressure measurements. The differences between the test results of the two conditions were not statistically significant, except for the interface pressure at the popliteal region during the early stance phase, TAPES socket fit subscale, and the SCS. Due to large variability of the data and the lack of statistical significance, no firm conclusion can be made on the possible relationship between the interface pressure values and the patient-reported outcomes of the two socket conditions. A larger sample size and longer acclimation period are required to locate significant differences.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 03/2015; 27(1):150311041559000. DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.949016
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    ABSTRACT: Sign language provides hearing and speech impaired individuals with an interface to communicate with other members of the society. Unfortunately, sign language is not understood by most of the common people. For this, a gadget based on image processing and pattern recognition can provide with a vital aid for detecting and translating sign language into a vocal language. This work presents a system for detecting and understanding the sign language gestures by a custom built software tool and later translating the gesture into a vocal language. For the purpose of recognizing a particular gesture, the system employs a Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) algorithm and an off-the-shelf software tool is employed for vocal language generation. Microsoft® Kinect is the primary tool used to capture video stream of a user. The proposed method is capable of successfully detecting gestures stored in the dictionary with an accuracy of 91%. The proposed system has the ability to define and add custom made gestures. Based on an experiment in which 10 individuals with impairments used the system to communicate with 5 people with no disability, 87% agreed that the system was useful.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2015; 27(1). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.952845
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    ABSTRACT: Users with disabilities interact with Personal Computers (PCs) using Assistive Technology (AT) software solutions. Such applications run on a PC that a person with a disability commonly uses. However the configuration of AT applications is not trivial at all, especially whenever the user needs to work on a PC that does not allow him/her to rely on his / her AT tools (e.g., at work, at university, in an Internet point). In this paper, we discuss how cloud computing provides a valid technological solution to enhance such a scenario.With the emergence of cloud computing, many applications are executed on top of virtual machines (VMs). Virtualization allows us to achieve a software implementation of a real computer able to execute a standard operating system and any kind of application. In this paper we propose to build personalized VMs running AT programs and settings. By using the remote desktop technology, our solution enables users to control their customized virtual desktop environment by means of an HTML5-based web interface running on any computer equipped with a browser, whenever they are.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2015; 27(1). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.963258
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    ABSTRACT: Prior work has highlighted the challenges faced by people with athetosis when trying to acquire on-screen targets using a mouse or trackball. The difficulty of positioning the mouse cursor within a confined area has been identified as a challenging task. We have developed a target acquisition assistance algorithm that features transition assistance via directional gain variation based on target prediction, settling assistance via gain reduction in the vicinity of a predicted target, and expansion of the predicted target as the cursor approaches it. We evaluated the algorithm on improving target acquisition efficiency among seven participants with athetoid cerebral palsy. Our results showed that the algorithm significantly reduced the overall movement time by about 20%. Considering the target acquisition occurs countless times in the course of regular computer use, the accumulative effect of such improvements can be significant for improving the efficiency of computer interaction among people with athetosis.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2015; 27(1). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.984260
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    ABSTRACT: Sacral pressure ulcers are a significant problem following spinal cord injury and are felt to be in part due to the high interface-pressures generated while strapped to the spine board. The objective of this study was to determine sacral interface-pressure and sensing area in healthy volunteers on a spine board and the effects of a gel pressure dispersion liner. Thirty-seven volunteers were placed on a pressure-sensing mat between the subject and the spine board. Measurements were carried out with and without a gel liner. Pressures and sensing area were recorded every minute for 40 minutes. The highest pressure was generated at the sacral prominence of each subject. Mean interface-pressures were higher on the spine board alone than with the gel liner (p p .0001). Standard spinal immobilization causes high sacral interface-pressures. The addition of a gel liner on the spine board decreased overall mean sacral pressures and increased mean sensing area. Generation of sacral pressure ulcers may be related to the initial interface-pressures generated while the patient is strapped to the spine board. The addition of a gel liner may reduce the incidence of sacral pressure ulcers.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 12/2014; 27(1):141217131248000. DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.940473
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    ABSTRACT: The decision when to cross a street safely is a challenging task that poses high demands on perception and cognition. Both can be affected by normal aging, neurodegenerative disorder, and brain injury, and there is an increasing interest in studying street-crossing decisions. In this article, we describe how driving simulators can be modified to study pedestrians’ street-crossing decisions. The driving simulator’s projection system and the virtual driving environment were used to present street-crossing scenarios to the participants. New sensors were added to measure when the test person starts to cross the street. Outcome measures were feasibility, usability, task performance, and visual exploration behavior, and were measured in 15 younger persons, 15 older persons, and 5 post-stroke patients. The experiments showed that the test is feasible and usable, and the selected difficulty level was appropriate. Significant differences in the number of crashes between young participants and patients (p = .001) as well as between healthy older participants and patients (p = .003) were found. When the approaching vehicle’s speed is high, significant differences between younger and older participants were found as well (p = .038). Overall, the new test setup was well accepted, and we demonstrated that driving simulators can be used to study pedestrians’ street-crossing decisions.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 12/2014; 27(1):141217131248000. DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.929193
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    ABSTRACT: Vision-impaired individuals often use a long white cane to assist them with gathering information about their surroundings. However, these aids are generally not used to detect obstacles above knee height. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a low-cost, custom-built electronic device clipped onto a traditional cane can provide adequate vibratory warning to the user of obstacles above knee height. Sixteen normally sighted blindfolded individuals participated in two mobility courses which they navigated using a normal white cane and a white cane with the electronic device attached. Of the 16 participants, 10 hit fewer obstacles, and 12 covered less ground with the cane when the electronic device was attached. Ten participants found navigating with the electronic device easier than just the white cane alone. However, the time taken on the mobility courses, the number of collisions with obstacles, and the area covered by participants using the electronic device were not significantly different (p > 0.05). A larger sample size is required to determine if the trends found have real significance. It is anticipated that additional information provided by this electronic device about the surroundings would allow users to move more confidently within their environment.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.926468
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals with cognitive disability have difficulty using public transit, but little research is directed toward this issue. Recent studies suggest that smartphones may be useful assistive devices in this context. Current objectives were to (1) survey research into difficulties people with cognitive disabilities experience when using public transit, (2) survey the current state of the art of transit and personal navigation applications (apps) and features, (3) recommend best existing transit apps for people with cognitive disability, and (4) recommend the best designs and features of these apps to developers of future transit apps. Potentially useful features were found in four categories: Transit apps for (1) individuals with cognitive disabilities and (2) healthy individuals, and personal navigation apps for (3) individuals with cognitive disabilities and (4) healthy individuals. A total of 159 apps were examined, but only seven were found specific to public transit for cognitive disability. By comparing research recommendations and currently available features, we identified several unmet needs. We note that there appears to be a shortage of apps for this population-function but that there is good research in the area and it is well suited to inform app development.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.930076
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    ABSTRACT: An engineering drawing provides manufacturing information to a machine operator. An operator plans and executes machining operations based on this information. A visually impaired (VI) operator does not have direct access to the drawings. Drawing information is provided to them verbally or by using sample parts. Both methods have limitations that affect the quality of output. Use of engineering drawings is a standard practice for every industry; this hampers employment of a VI operator. Accessible engineering drawings are required to increase both independence, as well as, employability of VI operators. Today, Computer Aided Design (CAD) software is used for making engineering drawings, which are saved in CAD files. Required information is extracted from the CAD files and converted into Braille or voice. The authors of this article propose a method to make engineering drawings information directly accessible to a VI operator.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.923544
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    ABSTRACT: A wearable assistive system is proposed to improve mobility of visually impaired people (subjects). This system has been implemented in the shape of a bracelet and waist-belt in order to increase its wearable convenience and cosmetic acceptability. A camera and an ultrasonic sensor are attached to a customized waist-belt and bracelet, respectively. The proposed modular system will act as a complementary aid along with a white cane. Its vision-enabled waist-belt module detects the path and distribution of obstacles on the path. This module conveys the required information to a subject via a mono earphone by activating relevant spoken messages. The electronic bracelet module assists the subject to verify this information and to perceive distance of obstacles along with their locations. The proposed complementary system provides an improved understanding of the surrounding environment with less cognitive and perceptual efforts as compared to a white cane alone. This system was subjected to clinical evaluations with 15 totally blind subjects. Results of usability experiments demonstrated effectiveness of the system as a mobility aid. Amongst the participated subjects, 93.33% expressed satisfaction with the information content of this system, 86.66% subjects comprehended its operational convenience, and 80% appreciated the comfort of the system.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.915896
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    ABSTRACT: With a decline in use of Braille, very few attractive technological options can be offered to young learners. Various research data confirm that teachers of the visually impaired do not have sufficient skills to introduce their students to modern devices. The Mountbatten Brailler can be considered as a tool that combines Braille technology with mainstream tools commonly used by students and teachers. This combination of devices opens new possibilities for the teachers and their students to reverse the trend in the use of Braille. Thanks to features offered by the Brailler and iOS devices, sighted and blind users receive a tool for unimpaired written communication.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.928389
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    ABSTRACT: In this research, image analysis was used to optimize the visual output of a traditional Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) magnifying system and a head-mounted display (HMD) for people with low vision. There were two purposes: (1) To determine the benefit of using an image analysis system to customize image quality for a person with low vision, and (2) to have people with low vision evaluate a traditional CCTV magnifier and an HMD, each customized to the user’s needs and preferences. A CCTV system can electronically alter images by increasing the contrast, brightness, and magnification for the visually disabled when they are reading texts and pictures. The test methods was developed to evaluate and customize a magnification system for persons with low vision. The head-mounted display with CCTV was used to obtain better depth of field and a higher modulation transfer function from the video camera. By sensing the parameters of the environment (e.g., ambient light level, etc.) and collecting the user’s specific characteristics, the system could make adjustments according to the user’s needs, thus allowing the visually disabled to read more efficiently.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 10/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.923543
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effects of seat-height settings of wheelchairs with alternating propulsion with both legs. Seven healthy individuals with no orthopedic disease participated. Flexion angles at initial contact (FA-IC) of each joint, range of motion during propulsion period (ROM-PP), and ground reaction force (GRF) were measured using a three dimensional motion capture system and force plates, and compared with different seat-height settings. Statistically significant relationships were found between seat-height and speed, stride length, knee FA-IC, ankle FA-IC, hip ROM-PP, vertical ground reaction force (VGRF), and anterior posterior ground reaction force (APGRF). Speed, hip ROM-PP, VGRF and APGRF increased as the seat-height was lowered. This effect diminished when the seat-height was set below −40 mm. VGRF increased as the seat-height was lowered. The results suggest that the seat-height effect can be attributed to hip ROM-PP; therefore, optimal foot propulsion cannot be achieved when the seat height is set either too high or too low. Efficient foot propulsion of the wheelchair can be achieved by setting the seat height to lower leg length according to a combination of physical characteristics, such as the user’s physical functions, leg muscles, and range of motion.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.888108
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the development and evaluation of a software tool for the automatic configuration of mice and other pointing devices. The software is intended to accommodate the needs of people with physical impairments, with a goal of improved productivity and comfort during computer use. We successfully built prototype software that monitors user activity during performance of regular computer tasks and recommends appropriate Windows mouse settings to meet the user’s specific needs. Twelve individuals with upper extremity impairments participated in an evaluation study. On average, the recommended settings significantly improved pointing performance for this subject group. The effect on trial time, entries, and error-free trials was significant at the 0.05 level. Trial time showed the strongest effect, improving by 29.3% with the settings recommended by our software. These results suggest that our software can successfully determine the appropriate mouse settings for an individual, yielding significant improvements in pointing performance.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2013.862583
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that cognitive and social interventions are crucial to the overall health of older adults including their psychological, cognitive, and physical well-being. However, due to the rapidly growing elderly population of the world, the resources and people to provide these interventions is lacking. Our work focuses on the use of social robotic technologies to provide person-centered cognitive interventions. In this article, we investigate the acceptance and attitudes of older adults toward the human-like expressive socially assistive robot Brian 2.1 in order to determine if the robot’s human-like assistive and social characteristics would promote the use of the robot as a cognitive and social interaction tool to aid with activities of daily living. The results of a robot acceptance questionnaire administered during a robot demonstration session with a group of 46 elderly adults showed that the majority of the individuals had positive attitudes toward the socially assistive robot and its intended applications.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2013.869703
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    ABSTRACT: Supported eText for students with visual impairments in mathematics has a promising, emerging literature base, although little of the existing research focuses on implementation within a classroom setting. This qualitative study sought to understand the use of supported eText to deliver algebra to students with visual impairments enrolled in algebra mathematics courses. The study also sought to explore supported eText in contrast to students’ traditional means of accessing an algebra text. The main results suggest supported eText holds potential in terms of delivering mathematics content; however, more research and more reflection on the field is needed regarding this approach as a sole means of presenting text. Implications for teacher professional development and implementation practices are discussed.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2013.870939
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    ABSTRACT: Two energy return prosthesis are subjected to three different statically applied loading methods. This initial study proposes that statically applied loading to a sport prosthesis using several controlled methods were statistically robust enough to derive a mechanical stiffness value. However, any predicted stiffness is drawn into question when allowing any movement of the distal end. This uncertainty will make any evaluation or prescription of lower limb prosthesis technology based upon their stiffness incorrect. In addition, the peak calculated stiffness at the expected bodyweight induced ground impact load of a runner is judged the most representative assessment method. This study attempts to build on previous research advocating the need to monitor the performance of prosthesis lower limb technology in disability sport.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 06/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1080/10400435.2014.888599