Livable Communities

Survey instrument for the universal design of consumer products.

Universal design is a process intended to include all user groups in product or environmental design. The objective of this study was to develop a usability testing survey instrument to inform how well consumer products complied with established principles of universal design. Thirty-six adults, aging adults and adult wheelchair users performed standardized tasks with pens, […]

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Artificial environments and an aging population: designing for age-related functional losses.

Over the past century there has been a large and continuing increase in the frequency of persons aged over 65 years; particularly those aged over 100 years. During the 21st century the number of persons over 100 years will continue to increase. This will occur at such a rapid rate that the 21st century may […]

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Disabilities and impairments: strategies for workplace integration.

This article argues that disabilities are, within many of the U.S. debates, best understood as certain kinds of impairment affecting a person’s capabilities to perform socially defined roles and functions within specific environments. We also argue that it is not the impairments per se that lead to claims about what we ought to do or […]

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Making distance education accessible for students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Distance education is based on providing learning “anytime, anywhere.” The design of many distance education courses, however, may actually erect barriers to the full participation of some students with disabilities, particularly those with hearing impairments. Without careful consideration, distance education could become learning anytime, anywhere, but not for anybody. It is not only unethical, but […]

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Rural gifted students who are deaf or hard of hearing: how electronic technology can help.

Electronic technology can be used to overcome many of the barriers and other factors that restrict delivery of services to rural schools; it can also expand the world of rural gifted students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Online college and high school Web sites that offer courses are listed, as well as a […]

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Using telerehabilitation to identify home modification needs.

Teleconferencing technology has great potential for providing cost-effective in-home assessment for home modification services from anywhere to anyone in need. Despite its enormous potential, the use of this technology as a means to deliver these specific services had not been investigated. This project investigated the use of televideo technology to provide remote home assessment services […]

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Augmentative and alternative communication and cell phone use: one off-the-shelf solution and some policy considerations.

Use of cell phones has grown dramatically; however, there remains a gap between people with disabilities and the general public in regard to access to cellular telephony. This article describes the importance of cell phone use among people who use augmentative communication devices. An “off-the-shelf” solution is described and illustrated with the goal of improving […]

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Accessible cell phone design: development and application of a needs analysis framework.

PURPOSE: This research describes the development and use of the Needs Analysis and Requirements Acquisition (NARA) framework to elicit and construct user requirements for the design of cell phones (which are a type of assistive technology) that are both usable and accessible to persons with disabilities. METHOD: Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were used […]

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Development and consumer validation of the Functional Evaluation in a Wheelchair (FEW) instrument.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to develop an outcome measurement tool to investigate functional performance of consumers using seating and wheelchair systems as their primary seating and mobility device. The instrument is undergoing systematic development in three phases. The results of Phase 1 will be reported. METHOD: Manual and power wheelchair users were […]

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Therapeutic kitchens for residents with dementia.

Long-term care facilities are increasingly incorporating some sort of kitchen, often referred to as a therapeutic kitchen, for resident, staff, and family use through remodeling efforts or new construction. A study, consisting of five site visits and a questionnaire mailed to 631 facilities providing dementia care, was conducted to identify physical features that are typically […]

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