Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits: Volume 17

Best Practices for the Design and Development of Assistive Technology Products

For many decades members of the industrial, university, and non-profit sectors have constructed diverse paradigms to design, develop, and commercialize assistive technology (AT) products. These paradigms have evolved to meet the complex needs and expectations of persons comprising niche disability markets, within diverse personal and environmental contexts, which are often tightly constrained by available resources, adequate funding, and market potential. Current product design and development continues to assimilate evolving concepts and tools, integrate emergent technologies, and build upon the capacities of ubiquitous information and communication technologies ICT) and other computing infrastructures.

Four concepts broadly relevant to these paradigms are usable design (UD), participatory design (PD), localization (LO), and sustainable development (SD). In UD, designers and developers consider the extent to which “a product can be used by specified users to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use” (International Organization for Standardization (ISO/TS; 2018). In PD, product users work collaboratively with designers and developers at all stages to clarify needs and abilities, anticipate tasks and task flows, identify contextual and environmental factors, and operationalize usability concepts. In LO, product design, development, production, and distribution are optimized to fit localized individual, contextual, social, and economic needs, constraints, and resources. Finally, the ISO defines SD as meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. SD is about “integrating the goals of a high quality of life, health and prosperity with social justice while maintaining the earth’s capacity to support life in all its diversity” (ISO, 2010). Additional concepts include recognition that individuals with disabilities can frequently benefit from mainstream products as part of AT product systems. Paradigms for effective AT service methods and tools is critical to facilitate the provision of complex AT product systems.

Guest Editor: Stephen Bauer

Stephen Bauer head and shoulders photograph. Photo of a man with glasses wearing a white shirt and tie.

Stephen Bauer, Ph.D., is a former research scientist at the State University of New York at Buffalo and program officer at the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. In the context of disability and assistive technology, his interests span the intersections of design and development, models and classifications, services and products, technology transfer, and public policy.

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Individual Articles (Table of Contents from Volume 17)

Introduction to Volume 17 (page ix)
Stephen M. Bauer, Ph.D.

SBIR at the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (page 1)
Stephen M. Bauer, Ph.D.

Open-Source Design Platform For AAC Research: Project Open (page 31)
Sofia Benson-Goldberg, Lori Geist, and Karen Erickson
Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, Department of Allied Health Sciences
School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Provider Perspectives on Providing Mainstream Smart Home Technologies as Assistive Technology (page 45)
Dan Ding, Ph.D. and Lindsey Morris, OTD, OTR/L
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Reflections on the Design, Development, and Implementation of a Braille Mobile App (page 60)
Cheryl Kamei-Hannan, Ph.D.
Division of Special Education and Counseling
California State University, Los Angeles

What Users of AT Wish Developers Knew About Their Literary Experiences (page 80)
Ben Satterfield, Ed.D.
Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation
Georgia Institute of Technology

Participatory Design Approach to Creating an Accessible Nurse-Call/Hospital Room Control System for Individuals With Severe Physical Impairments (page 100)
Susan K. Fager, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Judith M. Burnfield, Ph.D., PT,
and Tabatha Sorenson, OTR/L, OTD
Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. Lincoln, Nebraska

Design Considerations for Aphasia Rehabilitation Technologies: How Linguistic Factors and Computer Interaction Designs Alter User Behaviors During Autonomous Practice (page 115)
Richard D. Steele, Ph.D.1, Michael de Riesthal, Ph.D.2,3, and Angel L. Ball, Ph.D.4
Princeton, New Jersey

2Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

3Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

4School of Education, Program in Speech-Language Pathology
Nevada State College