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: 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: 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: 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: 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).
  • [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 06/2014; 26(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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).
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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).
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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).
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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).
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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 05/2014; 26(2).
  • [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 05/2014; 26(2).
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    ABSTRACT: The present article attempts to highlight the use of assistive technologies in academic libraries in India, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. It dwells upon the use and importance of assistive technologies in general and their use for visually challenged learners in particular. Further, it gives suggestions for implementing assistive technologies in academic libraries for making visually challenged students self-reliant learners in accomplishing their academic and research pursuits. The present study adopted convenience sampling for collecting the data, which was collected between December 15, 2012 and January 18, 2013.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 05/2014; 26(2).
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    ABSTRACT: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 specifically mandates that all students participate in the general assessment process or some form of alternate assessment as a measure of school accountability for student academic progress. Although levels of communication difficulties, intellectual impairment, and specific diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are correlated with increased probability of participating in alternate assessment methods, very little empirical research has focused on identifying predictors for students’ assessment modality. Archival data from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS; 2005) were used to examine variables that predict whether elementary school students with ASD participated in the general or alternate assessment. Results indicated that receptive and expressive communication abilities appear to influence participation in the general vs. alternate assessment in tandem with access to assistive technology. Students with ASDs were approximately 2.71 times more likely to participate in the general assessment when they had access to assistive technology. Next, we performed a second, follow-up analysis for only ASD students with communication problems. The odds ratio value increased to 14.9 indicating that ASD students with communication problems that had access to assistive technology were almost 15 times more likely to participate in the general assessment than students with communication problems without access to assistive technology.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 05/2014; 26(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Wheelchair cushions can be used for many hours every day. Like all devices, cushions degrade over time, losing the ability to provide adequate support. Little is known about the changes that cushions undergo after typical everyday use. This project was designed to monitor cushion performance over time with the objective to identify the most important factors that predict cushion degradation. Wheelchair users and their cushions were evaluated multiple times. Information was collected about participants’ posture and activities, their cushions, and use of their cushions. Cushion performance was determined by measuring interface pressure using a buttock model. Data analysis proceeded in two steps. First, principal component analysis was run to reduce the number of variables. Second, multiple regression determined which variables influenced the interface pressure performance variables. Results indicated that user characteristics and the manner in which the cushion is used have a greater influence on cushion performance than the chronological age of the cushion. This result can be useful to clinicians who should query users about cushion use when investigating the need to replace a cushion. Finally, this information is applicable to policies that govern cushion replacement and indicted that wear on a cushion is not equivocal across users.
    Assistive technology: the official journal of RESNA 05/2014; 26(2).
  • [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 02/2014; 26(1).