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An evaluation of service delivery techniques, used to support disabled people and their local helpers, in their use of assistive technologies, with particular focus on systems designed to assist independent living

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1 Author(s)
Allen, B. ; Assistive Technol. Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin, Ireland

The application of technology to assist people with handicaps is now commonplace. The level of technology employed varies considerably, as do the range of applications for which it is used. It is, nonetheless, a fact that the full potential of technical assistive tools has not been fully realised; not due to a lack of technical genius to develop devices, but rather, because of less than adequate service delivery structures. This was recognised some years ago, and led to many research projects designed to identify best practice, and to propose new services where necessary. The best known program in this area is the HEART (Horizontal European Activities in Rehabilitation Technology) programme. Service delivery organisations in both Europe and the USA, see that an efficient application of technical devices to meet disabled users' needs, can best be achieved by taking a holistic and integrated view of all the user's requirements, their geographical and financial situation, and the likely ways in which their situation may change in the future. It is important that a correctly structured assessment process is undertaken; that appropriate recommendations are made; and that support and service needs are considered at outset. Support therefore becomes an extension of the assessment process; indeed, from the user's point of view, the two should appear seamless. This is particularly difficult when the user and the supporters are some distance apart, and it highlights the need for remote support mechanisms to be employed where practical

Published in:

Health and Care Services Technologies (Digest No. 1997/029), IEE Colloquium on Technologies Supporting the Remote Delivery of

Date of Conference:

19 Feb 1997

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