Need, Knowledge, and Utilization of Recreational Technologies for People with Disabilities

Edward C. Wang, James H. Rimmer, and William J. Schiller

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Recreational Technologies (RERC RecTech)-University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60612


Using a consumer-driven model, a combination of Internet-based and conventional mail surveys were used to collect data from 1261 respondents with physical disabilities to: (1) identify needs for new recreational technologies, and (2) assess the extent to which current knowledge concerning recreation technology is transferred into practical application, allowing persons with disabilities to engage in recreation activities.  Overall, actual participation in recreational activities was approximately 20% lower than the interest expressed by survey respondents; and the utilization of assistive technologies associated with these activities was nearly 70% lower than average awareness of available assistive technologies reported by the survey respondents. The results suggest that there‚Äôs a significant gap between interest and participation and between awareness and utilization of assistive technology in recreational activities for people with disabilities.


Recreational technologies, adaptation, disability, physical activity


This study was funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Recreational Technologies and Exercise Physiology grant #H133E020715.

Author Contact Information:

Edward Wang, PhD, Department of Health Systems Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, 845 South Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612, Phone: (312) 413-0148  Email: