In spite of the fact that the provision of assistive technology (AT) to people with cognitive disabilities is encouraged in a succession of U.S. statutes, rehabilitation professionals state that they do not have an effective process for matching consumers who have cognitive disabilities with the most appropriate assistive cognitive technologies (ACT) for their use. The lack of AT provision is often associated with a concomitant loss of independence, safety (e.g., emergency preparedness and response), help-seeking, health and participation in education, work, and community life. The goal of this research is to help get more ACT to the consumers who can benefit from them. There are four aims in this project.
The first aim i s to focus on one measure in the Matching Person and Technology assessment process, the Assistive Technology Device Predisposition Assessment (Person and Device forms) and develop a version adapted for use by persons with cognitive disabilities being matched with ACTs.
Aim 2 is to develop a version of the ATD PA for completion by caregivers of persons with cognitive disabilities.
Aims 3 and 4 develop accompanying and supporting materials: (a) computerized scoring and interpretations of the new ATD PA versions to foster the implementation of a consumer-centered and cost-effective process for matching person and ACT and (b) an interactive training program designed to address the ACT educational needs of rehabilitation professionals. The methodology involves (a) recruiting professional experts to assist in the development of the content of the materials, (b) obtaining professional, consumer and caregiver feedback on the process of completing pre-prototype and prototype versions of the new ATD PA for ACT, (c) the development of prototype AT computerized interpretations of the results, and (d) a content outline for an interactive training program for rehabilitation professionals in ACT and assessing and matching consumers with appropriate ACT. At the conclusion of Phase I, the project will have produced prototype versions of the ATD PA for ACT and computerized interpretations, as well as a content outline for the interactive training program, for further development, testing and validation in Phase II. ? ?