The shaping of individual meanings assigned to assistive technology: A review of personal factors

T. Louise Bender Pape*, J. Kim, B. Weiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This review article examines the development of individualized meanings assigned to assistive technology and how these personal meanings influence the integration of assistive technology into daily activities. Methods: A review of the published literature regarding assistive technology use and abandonment was conducted by performing two independent searches using 26 search terms and three databases. Publications were reviewed for whether they addressed device use, device abandonment, coping, adjustment, adaptation, values, outcomes and/or cultural issues; 81 publications met these criteria. Results: The evidence suggests that psychosocial and cultural issues influence the shaping of individualized meanings assigned to assistive technology. Theoretical arguments suggest that the process of adapting to disability is another influential factor. Conclusions: The synthesis of evidence and theories suggests that successful integration of assistive technology into daily lives requires potential device users to explore: (1) the meanings they assign to devices; (2) their expectations of assistive technology; (3) the anticipated social costs; and (4) ways to understand that disability is one, but not the defining, feature of one's identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume24
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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