Humans Aren’t The Only Ones Who Need A Leg Up

"The intersection of culture, disability, and assistive technology."

Full-text. From NIH.

"To provide culturally appropriate AT services, it may also be important to understand the extent to which an AT user identifies with a disability culture Disability culture seeks to identify disability as a defining characteristic of an individual rather than promoting similarity along other important characteristics such as age, gender, or ethnicity [8], but not all individuals define themselves by their disability. There is further debate about whether disability culture is solely a phenomenon existing among Western, Caucasian, urban, middleclass, well-educated individuals with disabilities or whether disability culture exists across divergent groups of people with disabilities [74]. If this broader application does exist, a greater understanding of how disability culture varies within and between diverse populations is required. Furthermore, the concept of a disability culture has received criticism as it fails to consider those individuals who do not see their impairment as a source of pride or as an affront against the cultural hegemony.”

Study on Cultural Differences and ID

"Behaviour disorders in young adults with moderate to severe ID were assessed from information provided by 282 caregivers during in-home interviews. The sample consisted of 150 Anglo participants, and 132 Latino, primarily Spanish-speaking, participants drawn from Southern California.”

"Behaviour disorders and maternal well-being showed the same pattern across disability syndromes. Autism was associated with the highest scores in multiple behaviour problem areas as well as maternal reports of lower well-being. Down syndrome was associated with the lowest behaviour problem scores and the highest maternal well-being. When behaviour problems were controlled for, diagnostic groups accounted for no additional variance in maternal stress or depression. The pattern of behaviour problems and well-being did not differ by sample (Anglo vs. Latino), although level on well-being measures did. Latina mothers reported significantly higher depression symptoms and lower morale, but also higher positive impact from their child than did Anglo mothers."

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Was Newton on the Autism Spectrum?
A portrait of several ancient prostheses. Read the history here.

A portrait of several ancient prostheses. Read the history here.

A familiar AT device, which amplifies the swinging motion produced by the shoulder ball-and-socket joint.

A familiar AT device, which amplifies the swinging motion produced by the shoulder ball-and-socket joint.

How Tablets Changed Everything
Sci-Fi & AT

“Seven AT Devices Born Of Science Fiction”

(some real, some yet-to-be-invented)

*Speech & Voice Recognition — Star Trek

*Neural Interface — The Matrix & X-Men

*Exo-skeleton — Iron Man

*Autonomous robot — Star Wars

*Holographic computer interface — Minority Report

*Physical Monitoring - Batman

*Personal Mobility — Wall-E

So, the question is: what AT device would you like to have that hasn’t been invented yet?

Administrative Hurdles

Sometimes, it seems that the strongest and most frustrating barriers to implementing AT in the classroom are misunderstandings with administrative officials or stakeholders who are not fully informed. What approaches do you take to apprising people of the need for AT generally and in a specific situation?