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

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.

  • Impact factor
    0.51
  • 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

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
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    ABSTRACT: This comparative study of two similar wheelchairs designed for less-resourced settings provides feedback to manufacturers, informing ongoing improvement in wheelchair design. It also provides practical familiarity to clinicians in countries where these chairs are available, in their selection of prescribed wheelchairs. In Kenya, 24 subjects completed 3 timed skills and assessments of energy cost on 2 surfaces in each of 2 wheelchairs: the Regency pediatric chair and a pediatric wheelchair manufactured by the Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK). Both wheelchairs are designed for and distributed in less-resourced settings. The Regency chair significantly outperformed the APDK chair in one of the energy cost assessments on both surfaces and in one of three timed skills tests.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 05/2014; 26(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to describe the process of assessment of three assistive devices to meet the needs of a woman with cerebral palsy (CP) in order to provide her with computer access and use. The user has quadriplegic CP, with anarthria, using a syllabic keyboard. Devices were evaluated through a three-step approach: (a) use of a questionnaire to preselect potential assistive technologies, (b) use of an eTAO tool to determine the effectiveness of each devised, and (c) a conducting semi-structured interview to obtain qualitative data. Touch screen, joystick, and trackball were the preselected devices. The best device that met the user's needs and priorities was joystick. The finding was corroborated by both the eTAO tool and the semi-structured interview. Computers are a basic form of social participation. It is important to consider the special needs and priorities of users and to try different devices when undertaking a device-selection process. Environmental and personal factors have to be considered, as well. This leads to a need to evaluate new tools in order to provide the appropriate support. The eTAO could be a suitable instrument for this purpose. Additional research is also needed to understand how to better match devices with different user populations and how to comprehensively evaluate emerging technologies relative to users with disabilities.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purposes of this study were to identify the factors that underlie assistive technology (AT) and to validate items to be used in an instrument to evaluate AT use. The study consisted of four phases. First, 99 items were developed though a comprehensive literature review. Second, the items were refined through three layers of review. Third, 1,467 respondents rated the results of the reviews. Fourth, exploratory factor analysis, and three confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were employed to analyze the data. The results of the CFA were statistically significant (root mean square error of approximation [RMSEA] = 0.036, p = 0.00) with a total of 67 items across 8 factors (effectiveness, affordability and dependability, utility, external support, operations, longevity, discomfort, and compatibility).
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1):1-14.
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    ABSTRACT: While assisting with balance is a primary reason for rollator use, few studies have examined how the upper limbs are used for balance. This study examines upper limb contributions to balance control during rollator-assisted walking. We hypothesized that there would be an increased upper limb contribution, measured by mean vertical loading (Fz) and variation in frontal plane center-of-pressure (COPhigh), when walking balance is challenged/impaired. Experiment 1 compared straight-line and beam-walking in young adults (n = 11). As hypothesized, Fz and COPhighincreased in beam-walking compared to baseline (mean Fz: 13.7 vs. 9.1% body weight (BW), p < 0.001, RMS COPhigh: 1.35 vs. 1.07 cm, p < 0.001). Experiment 2 compared older adults who regularly use rollators (RU, n = 10) to older adult controls (CTL, n = 10). The predicted higher upper limb contribution in the RU group was not supported. However, when individuals were grouped by balance impairment, those with the lowest Berg Balance scores (< 45) demonstrated greater speed-adjusted COPhigh than those with higher scores (p = 0.013). Furthermore, greater COPhigh and Fz were correlated to greater reduction in step width, supporting the role of upper limb contributions to frontal plane balance. This work will guide studies assessing reliance on rollators by providing a basis for measurement of upper limb balance contributions.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1):15-21; quiz 22-3.
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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 01/2014; 26(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Researchers have used several types of testing devices and training surfaces to examine wheelchair propulsion. Testing and training wheelchair users on the actual surface of interest, such as tile floors or ramps, is ideal but difficult. Devices such as treadmills, dynamometers, and ergometers allow for researchers and clinicians to observe wheelchair users in a controlled space. However, these devices often do not have the ability to realistically simulate the environment. This methodological article describes the instrumentation, development and function of a wheelchair dynamometer system, the WheelMill System (WMS), a uniquely adjustable roller system for wheelchairs. Three participants wheeled on the WMS, over a tile surface and up two different graded slopes with the SmartWheel to compare speed and forces. The WMS reasonably simulated propulsion over a tile floor, though the participants’ speed was slightly faster on tile, and the peak forces for each propulsion stroke varied more on tile than on the WMS. For the slopes, the speed oscillated over a greater range and was slower, and the measured peak forces were higher than the values measured on the WMS. The WMS may have several applications, though additional studies on a greater and more diverse population are needed.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1).
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the design of a virtual reality (VR) simulation integrating a haptic control interface for motor skill training. Twenty-four healthy participants were tested and trained in standardized psychomotor control tasks using native and VR forms with their nondominant hands in order to identify VR design features that might serve to accelerate motor learning. The study was also intended to make preliminary observations on the degree of specific motor skill development that can be achieved with a VR-based haptic simulation. Results revealed significant improvements in test performance following training for the VR with augmented haptic features with insignificant findings for the native task and VR with basic haptic features. Although performance during training was consistently better with the native task, a correspondence between the VR training and test task interfaces led to greater improvement in test performance as reported by a difference between baseline and post-test scores. These findings support use of VR-based haptic simulations of standardized psychomotor tests for motor skill training, including visual and haptic enhancements for effective pattern recognition and discrete movement of objects. The results may serve as an applicable guide for design of future haptic VR features.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1):51-60.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 01/2014; 26(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to develop and assess the reliability of the Korean version of the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (K-PIADS). Experts and researchers in the field of assistive technology carried out the original PIADS with a rigorous translation process. To this end, comprehensive measures were taken, including preliminary translation, reverse translation, verification, and expert panel review. Forty-eight people who are currently using an assistive technology (AT) device participated in the validation phase of this study. Findings suggested that reliability for a K-PIADS was very high (micro = 0.94). The findings of this study indicated that the result could be applied to psychosocial evaluation related to the quality of life of AT device users with disabilities. Replication studies are warranted to further validate K-PIADS.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1):45-50.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purposes of this study were to identify the factors that underlie assistive technology (AT) and to validate items to be used in an instrument to evaluate AT use. The study consisted of four phases. First, 99 items were developed though a comprehensive literature review. Second, the items were refined through three layers of review. Third, 1,467 respondents rated the results of the reviews. Fourth, exploratory factor analysis, and three confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were employed to analyze the data. The results of the CFA were statistically significant (root mean square error of approximation [RMSEA] = 0.036, p = 0.00) with a total of 67 items across 8 factors (effectiveness, affordability and dependability, utility, external support, operations, longevity, discomfort, and compatibility).
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Myoelectric pattern recognition systems can translate muscle contractions into prosthesis commands; however, the lack of long-term robustness of such systems has resulted in low acceptability. Specifically, socket misalignment may cause disturbances related to electrodes shifting from their original recording location, which affects the myoelectric signals (MES) and produce degradation of the classification performance. In this work, the impact of such disturbances on wavelet features extracted from MES was evaluated in terms of classification accuracy. Additionally, two principal component analysis frameworks were studied to reduce the wavelet feature set. MES from seven able-body subjects and one subject with congenital transradial limb loss were studied. The electrode shifts were artificially introduced by recording signals during six sessions for each subject. A small drop in classification accuracy from 93.8% (no disturbances) to 88.3% (with disturbances) indicated that wavelet features were able to adapt to the variability introduced by electrode shift disturbances. The classification performance of the reduced feature set was significantly lower than the performance of the full wavelet feature set. The results observed in this study suggest that the effect of electrode shift disturbances on the MES can potentially be mitigated by using wavelet features embedded in a pattern recognition system.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Many input devices are available for interacting with computers, but the computer mouse is still the most popular device for interaction. People who suffer from involuntary tremor have difficulty using the mouse in the normal way. The target participants of this research were individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Tremor in limbs makes accurate mouse movements impossible or difficult without any assistive technologies to help. This study explores a new assistive technique—adaptive path smoothing via B-spline (APSS)—to enhance mouse controlling based on user’s tremor level and type. APSS uses Mean filtering and B-spline to provide a smoothed mouse trajectory. Seven participants who have unwanted tremor evaluated APSS. Results show that APSS is very promising and greatly increases their control of the computer mouse. Result of user acceptance test also shows that user perceived APSS as easy to use. They also believe it to be a useful tool and intend to use it once it is available. Future studies could explore the possibility of integrating APSS with one assistive pointing technique, such as the Bubble cursor or the Sticky target technique, to provide an all in one solution for motor disabled users.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 01/2014; 26(2).