We know very little about social participation following the use of an assistive technology, and nothing regarding a device designed to facilitate face-to-face communication between hearing persons and deaf people who use sign language, and cannot speak and write. A pilot on evaluating social participation following the use of a new assistive technology is proposed. Fifteen deaf adults completed a three-month field study, with pre and post intervention measures. Three standardized instruments (LIFE-H, FACS, QUEST) were adapted for sign language interpretation and pretested. One month into the study, all participants had used the AT in 40% of ADL and 33% of social roles. AT use in life habits subsequently declined. The results for social participation showed only one significant improvement (p=0.026) after one month of AT use: the item concerning conversation with a hearing person. For functional communication, we found a significant improvement after 8 (p=0.016) and 12 weeks (p=0.012) for “social communication” only. The users were “neither dissatisfied nor satisfied” with the AT. Effectiveness, ease of use and follow-up services are considered critical. Methodological and technical improvements are suggested for researchers, developers, promoters and clinicians.
Pilot on evaluating social participation following the use of an assistive technology designed to facilitate face-to-face communication between deaf and hearing persons.
January 1, 2007
BY: Vincent C, Deaudelin I, Hotton M. Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS) Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec; Département de Réadaptation, Université Laval; and Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec, Program Déficience Auditive (Clientèle Adulte). Technology and Disability. 2007; 19(4): 153-167.