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Assistive technology enhancement using human factors engineering

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2 Author(s)
Phillips, C. ; Louisiana Tech. Univ., Ruston, LA, USA ; Giasolli, M.

Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the number of people with disabilities attending college. This increase in student population numbers is also an indication of an increase in college-trained employable disabled persons. With the adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations that aid in the performance of essential functions of jobs must be afforded. The growth trend of persons with disabilities having an advanced technical education/training can be utilized more effectively by enhancing these job accommodations. This paper presents a review of human factors engineering (HFE) principles that should be considered in the job and work site design for the professional requiring some adjustment in traditional methods based on their physical, neurological, cognitive or sensory circumstances. The field of HFE has developed a variety of work design principles that apply not only to an able-bodied population but also to persons with disabilities. This paper reviews revised guiding principles and shows, through case studies and real-world examples, their applicability in job accommodation and workplace design. The case studies involve persons with varying degrees and forms of disabilities in the areas of neurological, orthopedic, cognitive, or sensory impairments. Common job site adjustments are considered using HFE revised guiding principles to make the assistive technology effective, transparent, aesthetic, and acceptable to the user. Areas where enhancements of assistive technology apply are in the job function assessment and training programs, technology support on the job, and workplace layout and design

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering Conference, 1997., Proceedings of the 1997 Sixteenth Southern

Date of Conference:

4-6 Apr 1997