Current Issue

Assistive Technology Journal - Volume 28.1/Spring 2016

The following summaries are provided to give readers a short, lay reader description of each paper in the current issue. These are not the paper abstracts. 

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Visual, Tangible, and Touch-Screen: Comparison of Platforms for Displaying Simple Graphics
Pnina Gerhson, PhD, Roberta Klatzky, PhD, Hari Palani, MS, Nicholas Giudice, PhD
 
The goal of conveying graphical media to blind individuals is centuries old. Refreshable tactile displays offer numerous advantages over one-of-a-kind tangible renderings. Four different platforms were compared in a task of exploring an angular stimulus and reporting its value. On the whole, the results point both to promise and barriers in the use of refreshable graphical displays for blind users.
 
Technology Delivered Self-monitoring Application to Promote Successful Inclusion of an Elementary Student with Autism
Raia Rosenbloom MSEd, Rose Mason, PhD, BCBA, Benjamin Mason, PhD, Howard Wills, PhD, 
 
Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have challenges with social/behavioral functioning, which can lead to off-task and disruptive behaviors that interfere with developing academic and social skills. Self-monitoring (SM) is an intervention with strong evidence for increasing prosocial behaviors and decreasing challenging behaviors for students with ASD. I-Connect is an SM application that allows for customizable prompts, recording, and data monitoring. This study evaluated whether an I-Connect SM intervention increased on-task behavior while decreasing disruptive behavior for an elementary student with ASD in a general education classroom. 
 
Upper Extremity Neuro-Rehabilitation Through the Use of Power Mobility
John Damiao, MS, OTR/L, ATP/SMS & Danielle Kean, COTA/L
 
Power mobility is typically used as an accommodative form of assistive technology allowing individuals with impaired ambulation to remain mobile. Research is lacking on using this technology to rehabilitate physical dysfunction. This article presents a case study of a client with cerebral palsy who experienced severe neural impairment following a motor vehicle accident. As a previous power mobility user, the client identified returning to using power mobility with the affected upper extremity as a key functional goal. This case study describes the series of steps that returned the client to independent mobility and increased upper extremity function.
 
A Comparative Study of Hand Prosthesis Control Using an Inductive Tongue Control System
Daniel Johanson MSc, Fredrik Sebelius PhD, Stig Jensen OT, Bo Bentsen PhD, Dejan Popovic DrTech, Lotte N.S. Andreasen Struijk PhD  
 
This study compares the time required to activate a grasp or function of a hand prosthesis when using an electromyogram (EMG) based control scheme and when using a control scheme combining EMG and control signals from an inductive tongue control system (ITCS). Using a cross-over study design, 10 able-bodied subjects used a computer model of a hand and completed simulated grasping exercises. The time required to activate grasps was recorded and analyzed for both control schemes. Based on the amount of training and the achieved level of performance, it is concluded that the proposed ITCS control scheme can be used as a means of enhancing prosthesis control.
 
Implementing a routine outcome assessment procedure to evaluate the quality of assistive technology service delivery for children with physical or multiple disabilities: Perceived effectiveness, social cost, and user satisfaction
Lorenzo Desideri MSc, Martina Bizzarri MSc, Claudio Bitelli MEng, Uta Roentgen PhD, Gert-Jan Gelderblom PhD, Luc de Witte MD, PhD
 
There is a lack of evidence on the effects and quality of assistive technology service delivery (ATSD). This study presents a quasi-experimental 3-months follow-up using a pre-test/post-test design aimed at evaluating outcomes of assistive technology (AT) interventions targeting children with physical and multiple disabilities. A secondary aim was to evaluate the feasibility of the follow-up assessment adopted in this study with a view to implement the procedure in routine clinical practice. Forty-five children aged 3–17 years were included. 
 
An Observational Study of Powered Wheelchair Provision in Italy
Claudia Salatino MScEng, Renzo Andrich MScEng, R.M. Converti MD, M. Saruggia BSc(PT)
 
Powered wheelchairs are complex and expensive assistive devices. Providing agencies often require evidence that their financial investment will lead to a successful outcome. The authors surveyed a sample of 79 users who had obtained powered wheelchairs from a Regional Health Service in Italy in the period 2008–2013. Follow-up interviews were conducted at the users’ homes in order to collect information about wheelchair use, and its effectiveness, usefulness, and economic impact. The results indicated positive outcomes, especially in relation to user satisfaction and psychosocial impact, as well as considerable savings in social costs for most users. 
 
Tailor-made Rehabilitation Approach Using Multiple Types of Hybrid Assistive Limb robots for Acute Stroke Patients: A Pilot Study
Hiroyuki Pukada PT, Takashi Morishita PhD, Toshiyasu Ogata MD, PhD, Kazuya Saita OT, Koichi Hyakutake OT, Junko Watanabe ST, Etsuji Shiota MD, PhD, Tooru Inoue MD, PhD
 
This article discusses the feasibility of a tailor-made neurorehabilitation approach using multiple types of hybrid assistive limb (HAL) robots for acute stroke patients. We investigated the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent rehabilitation using the HAL robots. The Brunnstrom stage, Barthel index (BI), and functional independence measure (FIM) were evaluated at baseline and when patients were transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Scores were compared between the multiple-robot rehabilitation and single-robot rehabilitation groups. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first pilot study demonstrating the feasibility of rehabilitation using multiple exoskeleton robots. 
 
RESNA Position on the Application of Wheelchair Standing Devices: 2013 Current State of the Literature
Brad E. Dicianno MD, Amy Morgan PT, ATP, Jenny Lieberman MSOTR/L, ATP & Lauren Rosen PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS
 
People with disabilities are at risk of many secondary conditions that are directly related to immobility. Standing through the use of a stationary standing device, or through use of standing features on a manual or power wheelchair, is an essential component in the medical and rehabilitative care of some individuals. The purpose of this article is to update this Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society (RESNA) Position on the application of wheelchair standing devices with more current and additional scientific literature.