For people with severe/profound and multiple disabilities, managing the basic necessities of daily life often poses myriad challenges. Despite great odds, advances in assistive technology are making a difference in these individuals' lives. Advances in microswitches, voice outcome communication aids, and computer-based systems are creating new opportunities for living independently, improving basic life skills, and reducing problem behaviors among individuals with combined motor, sensory, and intellectual disabilities.
This unique volume examines how education and rehabilitation can improve the lives of even those individuals most affected by severe/profound and multiple disabilities. Interventions currently in use and in experimental stages are surveyed in terms of how they work and their applicability to clients with various needs. In addition, it examines the characteristics of developmentally disabled populations and offers guidelines for choosing suitable technologies. It presents empirical evidence on the advances in improving interaction with caregivers, control of the home environment, handling self-care tasks, and other core skills.
Assistive Technology examines interventions that are innovative, respectful of the dignity of clients, and practical for ongoing use, including:
• Microswitches in habilitation programs.
• Speech-generating devices for communication and social development.
• Instructional technology for promoting academic, work, and leisure skills.
• Assistive technology for promoting ambulation.
• Orientation systems for promoting movement indoors.
• Assistive technology for reducing problem behaviors.
A state-of-the-art guide to a growing field, Assistive Technology is an invaluable resource for researchers, clinicians, graduate students as well as clinicians and allied professionals in developmental psychology, rehabilitation and rehabilitative medicine, learning and instruction, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and educational technology.
Provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary, evidence-based coverage of assistive technology applications for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Examines applications that promote a range of adaptive skill areas and treatment of problem behaviors.
Explores virtual reality systems.
Explains how assistive technologies are used to improve learning and behavior.
About the Authors:
Giulio E. Lancioni, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Italy. He also spent many years at the Department of Psychology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands. His research interests include development and assessment of assistive technologies, training of social and occupational skills, and evaluation of strategies for examining preference and choice with individuals with severe/profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (including post-coma persons in a minimally conscious state and persons with Alzheimer's disease). He has published widely in these areas and serves in the editorial board of several international journals concerned with these topics.
Jeff Sigafoos, Ph.D., is Professor in the School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Prior to this position, held appointments at the University of Queensland, University of Sydney, and The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include communication assessment and intervention for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, educational programming for children with autism spectrum disorders, and the assessment and treatment of problem behavior in individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. He has published widely in these areas and is the Editor of Developmental Neurorehabilitation and co-editor-in chief of Evidence-based Communication Assessment and Intervention.
Mark F. O'Reilly, Ph.D., holds the Mollie Villeret Davis Professorship in Learning Disabilities and is Professor of Special Education in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. He lectured in the Department of Psychology at University College Dublin, Ireland prior to his current appointment. His research interests include assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders, design and evaluation of assistive technology to support individuals with severe and profound multiple disabilities, and communication/social skills interventions for individuals with intellectual disabilities. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities.
Nirbhay N. Singh, Ph.D., is the Chief Learning and Development Officer at the American Health and Wellness Institute, Raleigh, NC. He was a Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and Director of the Commonwealth Institute for Family Studies, Richmond, Virginia prior to his current appointment. His research interests include behavioral and psychopharmacological treatments of individuals with disabilities, assistive technology for supporting individuals with severe and profound multiple disabilities, and mindfulness. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child and Family Studies and Mindfulness, and Editor of the book series Mindfulness in Behavioral Health.