The impact of assistive technology on people with severe learning disabilities

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

The impact of assistive technology on people with severe learning disabilities

 

Author: Leung, Kit-mai
Title: The impact of assistive technology on people with severe learning disabilities
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Self-help devices for people with disabilities.
People with disabilities -- Rehabilitation.
Learning disabilities -- Treatment.
Computers and people with disabilities.
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: vi, 115 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2266022
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3668
Abstract: People with severe learning disabilities (LD) commonly have complicated psychosocial needs due to extensive disabilities. Nevertheless, the capacity to experience joy and human relationships is not IQ-dependent. Historically, making choices and environmental control may be limited for people with severe learning disabilities. With the huge development of assistive technology, people with severe learning disabilities have the equal rights and opportunities to participate in activities, to enjoy joy and happiness and to be as independent as possible. Assistive technology is significant to quality of life of people with severe learning disabilities. However, there was no local research study the impact of assistive technology on people with severe learning disabilities in Hong Kong, thus, a quantitative study was done. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of using assistive technology to people with severe learning disabilities on their rehabilitation training program. The research design of this study was Quasi-experimental repeated measures (3 times) design with one experimental and one control group. Subjects were recruited from a learning disabilities hospital under Hospital Authority and randomly assigned into two groups. Subjects of the control group were received the conventional training program; and subjects of the experimental group were provided a new training program based on the use of assistive technology. The study period was covered three months. Data was collected based on the Chinese version of Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale (PIADS (c)) which had been distributed to the proxies for three times across baseline, intervention phase (one month later) and evaluation phase (3 months later). The overall results of the study showed that the median scores of the PIADS scale for the control group were 0.12 after one week, 0.38 after one month and 0.5 after three month. The median scores of the PIADS scale for the experimental group were 0.65 after one week, 1.58 after one month and 1.92 after three month. Results of the Friedman test indicated that there were statistically significant difference (x2= 21, d.f. = 2, p < 0.001) on the PIADS scores for the control groups and statistically significant difference (x2 = 29.53, d.f. = 2, p < 0.001) on the PIADS scores for the experimental group at the three time point. Results of the Mann-Whitney U Test also revealed that there was statistically significant difference between two groups at each time point: U = 16.5 (p < 0.001) after one week, U = 8.5 (p < 0.001) after one month and U = 18.5 (p < 0.001) after three months. It was concluded that both training programs had positive impact on people with severe learning disabilities in the form of Competence, Adaptability and Self-esteem. Without doubt, the computer-aided rehabilitation training program had a much higher positive impact on people with severe learning disabilities than the conventional one. The integration of assistive technology into the rehabilitation training program for people with severe learning disabilities is new to the services, little is actually known about possible outcomes. In order to take the full advantage of assistive technology, it is recommended to extend the project and take further action to explore and incorporate assistive technology into the services to enhance the quality of life of people with severe learning disabilities. It is also recommended to implement more formal training courses and research studies to enable the information and benefits of assistive technology to reach out further into our community.

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