Technology and the environment: supportive resource or barrier for people with developmental disabilities?
ABSTRACT Assistive technology and environmental interventions (AT-EI) have been shown to influence community living and participation outcomes for people with developmental disabilities, and important others in their lives. However, many unmet needs for AT-EI remain, and many barriers to accessing and using AT-EI on a daily basis across activities, settings and the life span still exist. This article presents potential applications of AT-EI with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, benefits of AT-EI use, legislative rights ensuring access to AT-EI, funding issues and sources, barriers to AT-EI access and implications for health care professionals. The author advocates that health care professionals collaborate with consumers to advocate for their needs and rights, with them rather than for them, and serve as system interfaces to support people as they transition across systems and settings.
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ABSTRACT: This article summarizes the proceedings of the Environmental Barriers and Supports to Health, Function and Participation Work Group that was part of the "State of the Science in Aging with Developmental Disabilities: Charting Lifespan Trajectories and Supportive Environments for Healthy Living" symposium. The aim was to provide a research and policy agenda targeting the assessment and evaluation of environmental factors influencing the health, function, and participation of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD). Key environmental areas addressed were (1) the built environment including homes and communities; (2) assistive and information technology design and use; (3) social environment factors and interventions; and (4) environmental access and participation policies, legislation, and system change implications. The group identified gaps in knowledge and priorities for future research, including (1) multivariate analyses of attributes of the built environment; (2) large-scale intervention trials of assistive and information technology use with people with cognitive disabilities; (3) development and testing of social, peer-mentoring, and self-management interventions as applied to people with I/DD; (4) incorporation of environmental health research methodologies, such as GIS mapping into I/DD research; (5) participatory action approaches that actively include people with I/DD in the research process; and (6) rigorous examination of the impact of legislative and policy initiatives related to least restrictive community living and participation with people with I/DD. Future research and policy initiatives should focus on examining how the environment (build, technological, social, and system level) influence community living and participation of people with intellectual disabilities.Disability and Health Journal 07/2008; 1(3):143-9. DOI:10.1016/j.dhjo.2008.05.001 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this pilot study, a system that allows disabled persons to improve or recover their mobility and communication within the surrounding environment was implemented and validated. The system is based on a software controller that offers to the user a communication interface that is matched with the individual's residual motor abilities. Fourteen patients with severe motor disabilities due to progressive neurodegenerative disorders were trained to use the system prototype under a rehabilitation program. All users utilized regular assistive control options (e.g., microswitches or head trackers) while four patients learned to operate the system by means of a non-invasive EEG-based Brain-Computer Interface, based on the subjects' voluntary modulations of EEG sensorimotor rhythms recorded on the scalp.Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 02/2007; 2007:2532-5. DOI:10.1109/IEMBS.2007.4352844
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ABSTRACT: The central part of the controllable 30-nm DNA-packaging motor of bacterial virus phi29. The motor is driven by six ATP-binding RNA (pRNA) molecules (six color spikes). Similar to a six-cylinder car engine, conformation change and sequential action of the six RNA ensures continues rotation of the motor with ATP as energy to translocate the DNA (green) to pass the 3,6-nm central channel. Figure by Yinyin Guo adapted from Hoeprich & Guo, 2002.