Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities

ABC-CLIO
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Assistive technology can be used in two ways: to help people with disabilities to do things that people without disabilities can do without technology, and to improve access to everyday technology that is not designed for people with disabilities. In both cases, the focus is on matching individuals with the tools best suited to fill their needs.

A part of Greenwood's Health and Medical Issues Today series, Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities explores what technologies are available to individuals with disabilities, what they can help them to accomplish, and potential hurdles to their use that must be overcome. It explores this exciting field broadly and in depth while still keeping the "people-first" mindset that is the hallmark of assistive technology. In addition, it provides guidance and resources for individuals seeking assistive technology for themselves or for a loved one.

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About the author

Denis K. Anson is Director of Research and Development at the Assistive Technology Research Institute at Misericordia University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ABC-CLIO
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Published on
Aug 9, 2018
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9781440835124
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Allied Health Services / Medical Technology
Social Science / People with Disabilities
Technology & Engineering / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Innovations in paediatric rehabilitation engineering can serve as a springboard to education, psychosocial, social, physical and cognitive development for children and youth with disabilities. Instead of providing an overview of rehabilitation engineering, Paediatric Rehabilitation Engineering focuses on the uniqueness of the paediatric subspecialty via an international sampling of methods and techniques currently in use or in development.

The book is divided into three complementary components. The first group of chapters is broadly concerned with connecting individuals to their environment and to the people around them. The second group revolves around paediatric technologies that compensate for compromised or missing function. The final group of chapters is about machines and environments which provide stimulating and interactive platforms for therapy and research.

Topics include:

Microswitch-based occupational, recreational and rehabilitation programs Emerging access technologies, like infrared thermal imaging and vocal cord vibration detection Communication technologies to enable children to communicate in a variety of everyday environments Accessible graphical user and Web-based interface design Postural and upper and lower extremity compensation, such as customized chairs and prostheses Global efforts in the area of robotics for autism research Virtual reality and other interfaces to mitigate motor, communication, and physical control difficulties

Paedriatric rehabilitation engineering offers endless possibilities for future research with implications across the fields of physical and cognitive rehabilitation, medicine, computer science, and policy. It is the harmonizing of the expertise and energies of rehabilitation professionals such as teachers, families, paediatric rehabilitation engineers, and other stakeholders that will ensure that children are optimally supported as they embark on their journey from disability to possibility.

Technology is essential to the delivery of health care but it is still only a tool that needs to be deployed wisely to ensure beneficial outcomes at reasonable costs. Among various categories of health technology, medical equipment has the unique distinction of requiring both high initial investments and costly maintenance during its entire useful life. This characteristic does not, however, imply that medical equipment is more costly than other categories, provided that it is managed properly. The foundation of a sound technology management process is the planning and acquisition of equipment, collectively called technology incorporation. This lecture presents a rational, strategic process for technology incorporation based on experience, some successful and many unsuccessful, accumulated in industrialized and developing countries over the last three decades. The planning step is focused on establishing a Technology Incorporation Plan (TIP) using data collected from an audit of existing technology, evaluating needs, impacts, costs, and benefits, and consolidating the information collected for decision making. The acquisition step implements TIP by selecting equipment based on technical, regulatory, financial, and supplier considerations, and procuring it using one of the multiple forms of purchasing or agreements with suppliers. This incorporation process is generic enough to be used, with suitable adaptations, for a wide variety of health organizations with different sizes and acuity levels, ranging from health clinics to community hospitals to major teaching hospitals and even to entire health systems. Such a broadly applicable process is possible because it is based on a conceptual framework composed of in-depth analysis of the basic principles that govern each stage of technology lifecycle. Using this incorporation process, successful TIPs have been created and implemented, thereby contributing to the improvement of healthcare services and limiting the associated expenses. Table of Contents: Introduction / Conceptual Framework / The Incorporation Process / Discussion / Conclusions
From the National Book Award–winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression comes a monumental new work, a decade in the writing, about family. In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.

Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent.

Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance—all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.
Finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction

An extraordinary narrative history of autism: the riveting story of parents fighting for their children ’s civil rights; of doctors struggling to define autism; of ingenuity, self-advocacy, and profound social change.

Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. 

It is the story of women like Ruth Sullivan, who rebelled against a medical establishment that blamed cold and rejecting “refrigerator mothers” for causing autism; and of fathers who pushed scientists to dig harder for treatments. Many others played starring roles too: doctors like Leo Kanner, who pioneered our understanding of autism; lawyers like Tom Gilhool, who took the families’ battle for education to the courtroom; scientists who sparred over how to treat autism; and those with autism, like Temple Grandin, Alex Plank, and Ari Ne’eman, who explained their inner worlds and championed the philosophy of neurodiversity.

This is also a story of fierce controversies—from the question of whether there is truly an autism “epidemic,” and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving “facilitated communication,” one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism. There are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behavior; and the authors reveal compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death.

By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.
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