Advanced Technologies in the lives of Disabled People Overall Findings: Access problems included: Cost (of devices, updates of software) Information on available products Specialist disability market is costly Lack of training for service users Aesthetics of devices
Advanced Technology Project: The research problem: a) Under-use of prescribed assistive technological devices b) Designers and engineers are driven by different motives to disabled people So….. disabled people want better functioning devices, and designers and engineers need to start from the users perspective
Advanced Technology Project: Method 45 in-depth interviews with disabled people across Scotland and England (UK) 7 User Clubs 4 Focus Groups in care settings Innovation Day for disabled people, designers, engineers, architects, NGOs, private and public service providers
Advanced Technology Project: Orientation Social model of disability (Oliver 1990) The frustrations and joys of using specialised and mainstream market devices –and future wishes How do technologies assist or hinder disabled people in independent living?
Advanced Technology Project: Findings Participants were out of step with the market – Participants were struggling with old devices and poor systems – Cost of new devices was prohibitive – Users were lost in the digital divide: – No Choice in Specialist device provision from the State – Too much choice in Mainstream market Professional power issues in programming devices like talkers
Advanced Technology Project: The Users Blue Skies Innovations Face-controlled electric wheelchair; A solar-powered battery for a talker Gardening devices A multiple-use fine hand-movement device A voice activated fully automatic car For Deaf and hearing impaired users, – a missed calls register – a cheap and useable videophone – a device that translates spoken word into text
Advanced Technology Project: Future possibilities and issues Infra-red switch technology, Bluetooth and wireless systems – Abandon wired systems – Multiple remote control device issues Voice recognition software – Exciting possibilities for text entry and command – Software made copious errors – Laborious to train the software
Advanced Technology Project: Barriers and Facilitators to Learning to use Technologies Barriers to learning Facilitators to learning Training Poor/ rushed training from: Provider Provider family family technician technician No training/support Excessive cost of training Good training from: Provider; employer; social worker; electrician; technician ; on-line peers; friends; helpline; helpers at respite care centre; charity ; Speech therapist Provider; employer; social worker; electrician; technician ; on-line peers; friends; helpline; helpers at respite care centre; charity ; Speech therapist Instruct- ions/ manuals Difficult to understand manual Specific problems with; reading instructions reading instructions concentration concentration commands commands Prefer human instruction Easy to understand manual On-line instructions Demonstration: human human Program talk-through Program talk-through Family Issue of dependence Family could be best placed to help with learning
BARRIERS TO LEARNING FACILITATORS TO LEARNING Pragmatic issues Time, patience, cost Lack of on-going support Connecting older and new devices Non-compatibility of software Knowledge/capacities assumptions by designers Remembering Functions: including; of environmental control device of environmental control device phone memory phone memory commands for computer commands for computer Locating phone buttons Locating phone buttons Terminology difficult to follow Symbols instead of words Self teaching: through; Trial and error Trial and error On-line/video learning On-line/video learning Perseverance over years Perseverance over years Aim for independence Enjoyment Advanced Technology Project: Pragmatic, Manipulation and Psychological Issues in learning to use technologies
Advanced Technology Project: Manipulation Issues BARRIERS TO LEARNING FACILITATORS TO LEARNING Electronic reader controls Scooter controls Size of buttons on remote controls Navigation through menus on mobile phones Storage capacity of new technology in comparison to old Flexible and transferable functions between devices
Advanced Technology Project: Psychological Issues BARRIERS TO LEARNINGFACILITATORS TO LEARNING Fearing own inadequacy in capacity to understand how to use technology Fear of damaging device Embarrassment at computer ignorance Frustration: including; Hard work Hard work Complexity of functions Complexity of functions Enhanced self-esteem from mastering computer functions Enhanced confidence from proficiency Transferable confidence Learn only necessary techniques
Advanced Technology Project: Service User Wishes A Service user…. has voice activated software in the office and at home has a headset which is plugged into the back of computer.. I cant use my hands, so once that headsets on …- well especially at home, when Im on my own, if its on, I cant do anything. If the doorbell rings or the phone rings I can knock it off and go and answer the phone but thats, of course thats it, cant go back on it again He needs to: drive up to rather than have it attached to his head Engineer built a booth that sits on the top of computer
Advanced Technology Project: Flexibilities of devices Deaf user in the shower, has a pager for front door bell. The device has no missed calls register – so the user has no idea that the visitor is still outside. However, missed call register is a standard function on mobile phones –why not on these pagers?
Advanced Technology Project: Voice recognition example: Jim [Jim to Computer:] Wake up... start Microsoft Word... s address... [Computer prints Jims address]... Select all... right align that... left click... [Computer replaces address with Backlight]... Scratch that... mouse left click... [Computer: no response]... Mouse left click... [Computer: no response]... Go to sleep... [Computer inserts the word Consciously] Scratch that... go to sleep.
Advanced Technology Project: User Innovation Day issues Size of new technological devices Disabled people excluded from mobile phones by credit system Sign Language users excluded as mobile instructions are in written English and must register using speech Affordability and dexterity of mobiles are major issues. High street chains can sell unusable products to disabled people legally
Advanced Technology Project: User Innovation Day Issues 2 DDA 2005 makes discrimination in services against disabled people illegal but does not cover products or design – this is a loophole Ricability and the Disability Rights Commission campaigned for universal design to be included in the DDA but they were unsuccessful
Advanced Technology Project: User Innovation Day issues 3 Water, gas and electricity are classed as utilities. The UK Government makes special provision to ensure disabled peoples full access to these services. Phones are classed as a luxury item – Should landline phones be classed as a utility? Many disabled people cannot use public phone boxes as they are not fully accessible. Mobile phones are not a luxury item but a necessity for disabled people
Publications Harris J (2003) 'All doors are closed to us': a social model analysis of the experiences of disabled refugees and asylum seekers in Britain' Disability & Society, Vol. 18, No.4. 2003, pp.393-408. Available on-line from IDRIS at: http://www.idris.ac.uk/book/Social%20Inclusion/all%20doors.pdf Harris J (2003) 'All doors are closed to us': a social model analysis of the experiences of disabled refugees and asylum seekers in Britain' Disability & Society, Vol. 18, No.4. 2003, pp.393-408. Harris, J., Foster, M., Jackson, K. and Morgan, H. (2005) Outcomes for Disabled Service Users, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, York, available at: http://php.york.ac.uk/inst/spru/pubs/192/ Harris J. (2004) 'Incorporating the social model into outcome-focused social care practice with disabled people' In Barnes C & Mercer G (Eds) 'Implementing The Social Model of Disability: Theory & Research and Social Care' Leeds, Disability Press
More publications Harris, J., Arnott J., Hine N., & Kroll T., (2009) The Use, Role and Application of Advanced Technology in the lives of disabled people Final report to the Economic and Social Research Council, UK. Available at: http://www.idris.ac.uk/book/Advance%20Tec/Project%20Report%20 FINAL%20copy%20for%20website.doc http://www.idris.ac.uk/book/Advance%20Tec/Project%20Report%20 FINAL%20copy%20for%20website.doc Harris J, (2010) The Use, Role and Application of Advanced Technology in the lives of Disabled People in the UK Disability & Society Vol 25. Issue 4., pp 427-439. Oliver M (1990) The Politics of Disablement, Basingstoke, Macmillan. Sherer, M J & Galvin J C 'An outcomes perspective of quality pathways to the most appropriate technology' In JC Galvin, M J Sherer (Eds) Evaluating, selecting and using appropriate assistive technology Gaithersberg MD: Aspen, 1996: 1-26
Thank you for listening Acknowledgements to Funders The IDRIS research teams gratefully acknowledge financial support from: Economic and Social Research Council: Award number RES-062-23- 0177, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Big Lottery and the UK Department of Health. Visit us at www.idris.ac.ukwww.idris.ac.uk