Barks vs. Bytes (And Other Assistive Technology)

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Amanda Reinsfelder, B.S., Shirley Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Diane Collins, Ph.D., Stephanie Martin, B.S.

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System


Research was conducted to determine whether or not people paired with service dogs use more mechanical assistive technology. Data were collected from individuals who were eighteen years of age or older and used wheelchairs for their main means of mobility. Each of these individuals were either in a group that received a service dog within the past month, on a waiting list to receive a service dog, had a dog as a pet, or were not interested in having a dog at all. This particular project was a cross-sectional study that looked at differences in age and the number of assistive technology devices used and pet predisposition scores with respect to a partnership with a service dog.

KEYWORDS: assistive technology, function, wheelchair service dogs


Amanda M. Reinsfelder,
Human Engineering Research Laboratories,
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System,
7180 Highland Drive, 151R-1
Pittsburgh, PA 15206