Publications

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Local Productions
Additive manufacturing techniques for smart prosthetic liners

B Oldfrey, A Tchorzewska, R Jackson, M Croysdale, R Loureiro, C Holloway, M Miodownik

Elastomeric liners are commonly worn between socket and limb by prosthetic wearers. This is due to their superior skin adhesion, load distribution and their ability to form a seal. Laboratory tests suggest that elastomeric liners allow reduced shear stress on the skin and give a higher cushioning effect on bony prominences, since they are soft in compression, and similar to biological tissues [1]. However, they also increase perspiration reducing hygiene and increasing skin irritations. Prosthetic users in general face a myriad of dermatological problems associated with lower limb prosthesis such as ulcers, cysts, and contact dermatitis, which are exacerbated by the closed environment of a fitted socket where perspiration is trapped and bacteria can proliferate [2].

Medical Engineering & Physics; 2021

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Abstract

Additive manufacturing techniques for smart prosthetic liners

Elastomeric liners are commonly worn between the prosthetic socket and the limb. A number of improvements to the state of the art of liner technology are required to address outstanding problems. A liner that conforms to the residuum more accurately, may improve the skin health at the stump-socket interface. Previous work has shown that for effective thermal management of the socket environment, an active heat removal system is required, yet this is not available. Volume tracking of the stump could be used as a diagnostic tool for looking at the changes that occur across the day for all users, which depend on activity level, position, and the interaction forces of the prosthetic socket with the limb. We believe that it would be advantageous to embed these devices into a smart liner, which could be replaced and repaired more easily than the highly costly and labour-intensive custom-made socket. This paper presents the work to develop these capabilities in soft material technology, with: the development of a printable nanocomposite stretch sensor system; a low-cost digital method for casting bespoke prosthetic liners; a liner with an embedded stretch sensor for growth / volume tracking; a model liner with an embedded active cooling system.

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Additive manufacturing techniques for smart prosthetic liners

, Additive manufacturing techniques for smart prosthetic liners, Medical Engineering & Physics, Volume 87, 2021, Pages 45-55, ISSN 1350-4533, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mede....

Additive manufacturing techniques for smart prosthetic liners

A lady in a wheelchair in a building in Africa

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology
Culture and Participation

Research Group

Disability Interactions
“When They See a Wheelchair, They’ve Not Even Seen Me”—Factors Shaping the Experience of Disability Stigma and Discrimination in Kenya

Giulia Barbareschi, Mark T. Carew, Elizabeth Aderonke Johnson, Norah Kopi, Catherine Holloway

Stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs towards disability represent one of the most pervasive and complex barriers that limits access to health care, education, employment, civic rights and opportunities for socialization for people with disabilities [1,2,3]. The damaging impact of disability stigma is widely acknowledged and, according to article 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, developing strategies, campaigns, policies and other initiatives to combat disability stigma and ensure that all people with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect is also a duty of the 182 countries who ratified the treaty [4]. Although the majority of literature focused on understanding disability stigma has been carried out in high-income settings [5,6,7], in the last decade, an increasing number of scholars have conducted studies looking at the negative stereotypes, prejudices and inaccurate beliefs that shape disability stigma in the Global South [3,8,9,10]. Most of these studies have described how these stigmatizing beliefs are often driven by a combination of personal and societal factors, ranging from misconceptions concerning the causes of different impairments (e.g., disability to be seen as a form of curse or punishment); assumptions about the lack of capabilities of people with disabilities; or discriminatory practices that actively endorse separation between people with and without disabilities [3,9,11,12]. Yet, there is a dearth of comparative studies that examine the perspectives of both people with and without disabilities of disability stigma and discrimination, including how the use of assistive technology may shape stigmatizing interactions.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; 2021

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Abstract

“When They See a Wheelchair, They’ve Not Even Seen Me”—Factors Shaping the Experience of Disability Stigma and Discrimination in Kenya

Disability stigma in many low- and middle-income countries represents one of the most pervasive barriers preventing people with disabilities from accessing equal rights and opportunities, including the uptake of available assistive technology (AT). Previous studies have rarely examined how disability stigma may be shaped through factors endemic to social interactions, including how the use of assistive technology itself may precipitate or alleviate disability stigma. Through two strands of work, we address this gap. Via a series of focus groups with Kenyans without disabilities (Study 1) and secondary data analysis of consultations with Kenyans with disabilities and their allies (Study 2), we identify shared and divergent understandings of what shapes disability stigma and discrimination. Specifically, Kenyans with and without disabilities were cognizant of how religious/spiritual interpretations of disability, conceptions of impairments as “different” from the norm, and social stereotypes about (dis)ability shaped the experience of stigma and discrimination. Moreover, both groups highlighted assistive technology as an influential factor that served to identify or “mark” someone as having a disability. However, whereas participants without disabilities saw assistive technology purely as an enabler to overcome stigma, participants with disabilities also noted that, in some cases, use of assistive technologies would attract stigma from others.

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“When They See a Wheelchair, They’ve Not Even Seen Me”—Factors Shaping the Experience of Disability Stigma and Discrimination in Kenya

Barbareschi G, Carew MT, Johnson EA, Kopi N, Holloway C. “When They See a Wheelchair, They’ve Not Even Seen Me”—Factors Shaping the Experience of Disability Stigma and Discrimination in Kenya. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4272. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph...

“When They See a Wheelchair, They’ve Not Even Seen Me”—Factors Shaping the Experience of Disability Stigma and Discrimination in Kenya

Photograph of an informal settlement

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Inclusive Design
Culture and Participation

Research Group

Disability Interactions
Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal setlement

Giulia Barbareschi, Ben Oldfrey, Long Xin, Grace N. Magomere, Wyclife A. Wetende, Carol Wanjira, Joyce Olenja, Victoria Austin, and Catherine Holloway

The World Health Organisation estimate that there are approximately a billion people with disabilities who require access to appropriate assistive technology and this number is set to double by 2050 [82]. Assistive technologies (ATs) play a crucial role in the lives of people with disabilities and are necessary to be able to access essential services and participate in family and community life according to one’s aspirations [40, 62, 68, 81]. Although this is not often specifcally mentioned, the large majority of people with disabilities will routinely use more than one assistive device in their everyday lives [25, 26]. For example a person with a visual impairment is likely to use a white cane to navigate from their house to the office where they work and have a screen-reader, or an equivalent accessibility software, on their computer to be able to do their work once in the office [17].

ASSETS '20: Proceedings of the 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility; 2020

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Abstract

Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal setlement

Living in informality is challenging. It is even harder when you have a mobility impairment. Traditional assistive products such as wheelchairs are essential to enable people to travel. Wheelchairs are considered a Human Right. However, they are difficult to access. On the other hand, mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous and are increasingly seen as an assistive technology. Should therefore a mobile phone be considered a Human Right? To help understand the role of the mobile phone in contrast of a more traditional assistive technology – the wheelchair, we conducted contextual interviews with eight mobility impaired people who live in Kibera, a large informal settlement in Nairobi. Our findings show mobile phones act as an accessibility bridge when physical accessibility becomes too challenging. We explore our findings from two perspective – human infrastructure and interdependence, contributing an understanding of the role supported interactions play in enabling both the wheelchair and the mobile phone to be used. This further demonstrates the critical nature of designing for context and understanding the social fabric that characterizes informal settlements. It is this social fabric which enables the technology to be useable.

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Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal setlement

Giulia Barbareschi, Ben Oldfrey, Long Xin, Grace Nyachomba Magomere, Wycliffe Ambeyi Wetende, Carol Wanjira, Joyce Olenja, Victoria Austin, and Catherine Holloway. 2020. Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal settlement. In Proceedings of the 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS '20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 50, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1145/337362...

Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal setlement

A man is photographed trying out a new Digital Innovation, he is wearing a VR headset

Type

Editorial

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology
Culture and Participation

Research Group

Social Justice
Critical Junctures in Assistive Technology and Disability Inclusion

It is clear from the events of the last 18 months that while technology has a huge potential for transforming the way we live and work, the entire ecosystem—from manufacturing to the supply chain—is vulnerable to the vagaries of that ecosystem, as well as having the potential to exacerbate new and existing inequalities [1]. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the lives of people with disabilities, who make up around 15% of the world’s population and already face barriers to accessing education, employment, healthcare and other services [2]. Some of these barriers are a result of unequal access and opportunities. However, there is a growing movement to better understand how assistive technology systems and services can be designed to enable more robust and equitable access for all. As part of this growing movement, the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this autumn saw the launch of a new global campaign to transform the lives of the world’s 1.2 bn persons with disabilities: the ‘WeThe15’ campaign reached more than 4.5 billion people through its marketing and stands ready to be the biggest of its kind in history. Next year, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), AT scale and GDI Hub will publish the first World Report on Access to Assistive Technology, which will include research from the £20 million, UK Aid funded, GDI Hub-led, programme, AT2030. Ahead of that, in this Special Issue, we focus on how some events and situations—as diverse as the coronavirus pandemic and the Paralympics—can act as ‘critical junctures’ that can enable a rethink of the status quo to facilitate and promote change.

Sustainability; 2021

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Critical Junctures in Assistive Technology and Disability Inclusion

Kett, M.; Holloway, C.; Austin, V. Critical Junctures in Assistive Technology and Disability Inclusion. Sustainability 2021, 13, 12744. https://doi.org/10.3390/su1322...

Critical Junctures in Assistive Technology and Disability Inclusion

Photograph of the Global Report On Assistive Technology paperback publication

Type

Editorial

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Disability Interactions
Introduction to the companion papers to the global report on assistive technology

Johan Borg, Wei Zhang, Emma M. Smith, Cathy Holloway

GReAT, but do we care?

If accessible, assistive technology would be life changing for a billion people across the world today – and two billion people in 2050 (WHO, 2018). It would make the difference between independence and dependence, inclusion and exclusion, life and death. It holds the potential to improve and transform health, education, livelihood and social participation; fundamental human rights everyone is entitled to. And if we are lucky to grow old, the chances are that we all would use assistive technology by then. But do we care?

Assistive Technology, The Official Journal of RESNA; 2021

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Introduction to the companion papers to the global report on assistive technology

Johan Borg, Wei Zhang, Emma M. Smith & Cathy Holloway (2021) Introduction to the companion papers to the global report on assistive technology, Assistive Technology, 33:sup1, 1-2, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2021.2003658

Introduction to the companion papers to the global report on assistive technology

A graphic displaying a balance point between supply and demand. The demand is higher than the supply

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology
Climate & Crisis Resilience

Research Group

Disability Interactions
Measuring assistive technology supply and demand: A scoping review

Jamie Danemayer, Dorothy Boggs, Emma M. Smith, Vinicius Delgado Ramos, Linamara Rizzo Battistella, Cathy Holloway, and Sarah Polack

An assistive product (AP) is defined as a product used exter-nally to the human body, whose primary purpose is to main-tain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence and thereby promote his or her well-being (WHO, 2016). Global population aging forecasts a rise in the need for solu-tions that support participation and independence, including APs. In this paper, we review current population-level AP supply and demand estimation methods for five priority APs and provide recommendations for improving national and global AP market evaluation.

Assistive Technology The Official Journal of RESNA; 2021

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Abstract

Measuring assistive technology supply and demand: A scoping review

The supply of and market demand for assistive products (APs) are complex and influenced by diverse stakeholders. The methods used to collect AP population-level market data are similarly varied. In this paper, we review current population-level AP supply and demand estimation methods for five priority APs and provide recommendations for improving national and global AP market evaluation. Abstracts resulting from a systematic search were double-screened. Extracted data include WHO world region, publication year, age-groups, AP domain(s), study method, and individual assessment approach.497 records were identified. Vision-related APs comprised 65% (n = 321 studies) of the body of literature; hearing (n = 59), mobility (n = 24), cognitive (n = 2), and studies measuring multiple domains (n = 92) were proportionately underrepresented. To assess individual AP need, 4 unique approaches were identified among 392 abstracts; 45% (n = 177) used self-report and 84% (n = 334) used clinical evaluation. Study methods were categorized among 431 abstracts; Cross-sectional studies (n = 312, 72%) and secondary analyses of cross-sectional data (n = 61, 14%) were most common. Case studies illustrating all methods are provided. Employing approaches and methods in the contexts where they are most well-suited to generate standardized AP indicators will be critical to further develop comparable population-level research informing supply and demand, ultimately expanding sustainable access to APs.

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Measuring assistive technology supply and demand: A scoping review

Jamie Danemayer, Dorothy Boggs, Emma M. Smith, Vinicius Delgado Ramos, Linamara Rizzo Battistella, Cathy Holloway & Sarah Polack (2021) Measuring assistive technology supply and demand: A scoping review, Assistive Technology, 33:sup1, S35-S49, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2021.1957039

Measuring assistive technology supply and demand: A scoping review

Photograph of a humanitarian context, large white tents temporarily placed on red mud

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Humanitarian & Disasters
Meeting AT needs in humanitarian crises: The current state of provision

Golnaz Whittaker, Gavin Adam Wood, Giulia Oggero, Maria Kett, Kirstin Lange

This paper discusses the evidence available in the literature for the scale and quality of AT provision interventions in crises, and what is known about the challenges and facilitators of provision. We conducted a search of the academic literature and retained literature that reported on any form of AT provision following crisis, where international humanitarian response was in place, published in English between January 2010 and June 2020.

Assistive Technology The Official Journal of RESNA; 2021

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Abstract

Meeting AT needs in humanitarian crises: The current state of provision

Humanitarian coordination systems increasingly recognize and aim to respond to the needs of people with disabilities within populations affected by crises, spurred on by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which was adopted in 2006. Many agencies state their aim to meet the requirements of the CRPD using a “twin track” approach: ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream provision, alongside targeted support for their needs, which may include the need for Assistive Technology (AT). However, there is very little evidence of AT provision in humanitarian settings, which is a specific and urgent need for many people including the elderly and people with disabilities, and an implicit requirement of Article 11 of the CRPD and World Health Assembly resolution on improving access to assistive technology. There is also little evidence of effective mechanisms for AT provision in humanitarian settings. This is despite high and growing levels of unmet AT need in crises, and despite the legally binding requirement in the CRPD to provide AT for those who need it. AT provision faces unique challenges in humanitarian settings. This paper discusses the evidence available in the literature for the scale and quality of AT provision interventions in crises, and what is known about the challenges and facilitators of provision. We conducted a search of the academic literature and retained literature that reported on any form of AT provision following crisis, where international humanitarian response was in place, published in English between January 2010 and June 2020. We found very few examples in that academic literature of systematic and coordinated AT provision at the acute stage of crisis, and even less in the preparedness and post-acute stages. However, it is difficult to assess whether this is the result of insufficient academic attention or reflects a lack of provision. The small body of academic literature that describes AT provision in humanitarian settings paints a picture of small-scale provision, specialized to single types of impairments, and delivered by predominantly by NGOs. We also conducted a search of the gray literature, using the same inclusion criteria, in two countries: Afghanistan and South Sudan (case studies forthcoming). This gray literature provided supplementary evidence of the types of AT providers and AT provision available in those protracted crises. There are very few examples of how AT services can be scaled up (from a very low baseline) and maintained sustainably within a strengthened health system. The literature also describes more examples of provision of assistive products for mobility over assistive products for other impairments. If the paucity of literature on AT provision in humanitarian settings is a reflection of the scale of provision, this implies a deficiency in humanitarian response when it comes to providing people with AT needs with the essential products and services to which they have a right, and which will enable their access to basic, life-saving assistance. We conclude by providing recommendations for urgent actions that the AT and humanitarian community must take to fill this critical gap in the provision of essential products and services for a potentially marginalized and excluded group.

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Meeting AT needs in humanitarian crises: The current state of provision

Golnaz Whittaker, Gavin Adam Wood, Giulia Oggero, Maria Kett & Kirstin Lange (2021) Meeting AT needs in humanitarian crises: The current state of provision, Assistive Technology, 33:sup1, S3-S16, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2021.1934612

Meeting AT needs in humanitarian crises: The current state of provision

Mobile phone kiosk features mobile devices, plugs and other accesories.

Type

Conference Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology
Culture and Participation
Inclusion and Independence: The impact of Mobile Technology on the Lives of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

Nusrat Jahan, Giulia Barbareschi, Clara Aranda Jan, Charles Musungu Mutuku, Naemur Rahman, Victoria Austin, Catherine Holloway

Worldwide it is estimated that there are over a billion people who live with some form of disability [1]. Approximately 80% of people with disabilities live in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs). The combination of an inaccessible environment compounded by socio-economic factors such as poverty and stigma, makes it more likely for people with disabilities to be marginalised and excluded from society [1]. Assistive Technologies (ATs) are known to bridge the accessibility gaps and allow for greater social inclusion. However, there is a lack of adequate access to ATs in LMICs, combined with often poorly designed services, which only magnifies these challenges, thus limiting the opportunities for persons with disabilities to live an independent life [2]. Despite the importance of AT, access to AT globally is inadequate with only 10 percent of those in need having access to the ATs that they need [2].

2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference

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Abstract

Inclusion and Independence: The impact of Mobile Technology on the Lives of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

Globally, mobile technology plays a significant role connecting and supporting people with disabilities. However, there has been limited research focused on understanding the impact of mobile technology in the lives of persons with disabilities in low or middle- income countries. This paper presents the findings of a participatory photovoice study looking at the role that mobile phones play in the daily lives of 16 persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh. Participants used a combination of pictures and voice recordings to capture their own stories and illustrate the impact that mobile phone use has on their lives. Through thematic analysis, we categorized the benefits of mobile phones captured by participants as 1) Improved social connection; 2) Increased independence and 3) Access to opportunities. While mobile phones are ubiquitously used for communication, for persons with disabilities they become essential assistive technologies that bridge barriers to opportunities which are not accessible otherwise. Our paper adds evidence to the need for mobile phones for persons with disabilities to enable communication and connectivity in support of development.

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Inclusion and Independence: The impact of Mobile Technology on the Lives of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

N. Jahan et al., "Inclusion and Independence: The impact of Mobile Technology on the Lives of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh," 2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), Seattle, WA, USA, 2020, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1109/GHTC46280.2020.9342934.

Inclusion and Independence: The impact of Mobile Technology on the Lives of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

Type

Conference Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Local Productions
A Preliminary Study to Understand How Mainstream Accessibility and Digital Assistive Technologies Reaches People in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries

Tigmanshu Bhatnagar, George Torrens, Ben Oldfrey, Priya Morjaria
Felipe Ramos Barajas, Katherine Perry and Catherine Holloway

End Superscript

Access to information on digital platforms not only facilitates education, employment, entertainment, social interaction but also facilitates critical governmental services, ecommerce, healthcare services and entrepreneurship [1]. Article 9 of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) enforces its signatories to commit to provide full accessibility to every citizen of the nation [2]. This has helped to spearhead accessibility directives such as the European Accessibility Act [3] that aims to improve the functioning of markets for accessible products and services. Such directives contribute to ensure that mainstream digital technologies (smartphones, computers etc.) are accessible for everyone and without being socially remarkable, they are able to assist in daily living. Additionally, there is evidence that improving access in mainstream technologies improves product experience and usability for everyone [4]. However, mainstream access has not been fully realized, leading to inferior opportunities for people with disabilities, a disparity which is more prominent in lower and middle-income countries [5].

RESNA Annual Conference; 2021

A Preliminary Study to Understand How Mainstream Accessibility and Digital Assistive Technologies Reaches People in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Local Productions
Could Assistive Technology Provision Models Help Pave the Way for More Environmentally Sustainable Models of Product Design, Manufacture and Service in a Post-COVID World?

Ben Oldfrey, Giulia Barbareschi, Priya Morjaria, Tamara Giltsoff, Jessica Massie, Mark Miodownik and Catherine Holloway

From multiple studies conducted through the FCDO AT2030 Programme, as well as key literature, we examine whether Assistive Technology (AT) provision models could look towards more sustainable approaches, and by doing this benefit not only the environment, but also address the problems that the current provision systems have.

Sustainability

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Abstract

Could Assistive Technology Provision Models Help Pave the Way for More Environmentally Sustainable Models of Product Design, Manufacture and Service in a Post-COVID World?

From multiple studies conducted through the FCDO AT2030 Programme, as well as key literature, we examine whether Assistive Technology (AT) provision models could look towards more sustainable approaches, and by doing this benefit not only the environment, but also address the problems that the current provision systems have. We show the intrinsic links between disability inclusion and the climate crisis, and the particular vulnerability people with disabilities face in its wake. In particular, we discuss how localised circular models of production could be beneficial, facilitating context driven solutions and much needed service elements such as repair and maintenance. Key discussion areas include systems approaches, digital fabrication, repair and reuse, and material recovery. Finally, we look at what needs be done in order to enable these approaches to be implemented. In conclusion, we find that there are distinct parallels between what AT provision models require to improve equitable reliable access, and strategies that could reduce environmental impact and bring economic benefit to local communities. This could allow future AT ecosystems to be key demonstrators of circular models, however further exploration of these ideas is required to make sense of the correct next steps. What is key in all respects, moving forward, is aligning AT provision with sustainability interventions.

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Could Assistive Technology Provision Models Help Pave the Way for More Environmentally Sustainable Models of Product Design, Manufacture and Service in a Post-COVID World?

Oldfrey, B.; Barbareschi, G.; Morjaria, P.; Giltsoff, T.; Massie, J.; Miodownik, M.; Holloway, C. Could Assistive Technology Provision Models Help Pave the Way for More Environmentally Sustainable Models of Product Design, Manufacture and Service in a Post-COVID World? Sustainability 2021, 13, 10867. https://doi.org/10.3390/su1319...

Could Assistive Technology Provision Models Help Pave the Way for More Environmentally Sustainable Models of Product Design, Manufacture and Service in a Post-COVID World?

Young man with prosthetic arm developed at low cost

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Local Productions
A review of innovation strategies and processes to improve access to AT: Looking ahead to open innovation ecosystems

Catherine Holloway, Dafne Zuleima Morgado Ramirez, Tigmanshu Bhatnagar, Ben Oldfrey, Priya Morjaria, Soikat Ghosh Moulic, Ikenna D. Ebuenyi, Giulia Barbareschi, Fiona Meeks, Jessica Massie, Felipe Ramos-Barajas, Joanne McVeigh, Kyle Keane, George Torrens, P. V.M. Rao, Malcolm MacLachlan, Victoria Austin, Rainer Kattel, Cheryl D Metcalf & Srinivasan Sujatha

It is essential to understand the strategies and processes which are deployed currently across the Assistive Technology (AT) space toward measuring innovation. The main aim of this paper is to identify functional innovation strategies and processes which are being or can be deployed in the AT space to increase access to AT globally.

Assistive Technology The Official Journal of RESNA

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Abstract

A review of innovation strategies and processes to improve access to AT: Looking ahead to open innovation ecosystems

It is essential to understand the strategies and processes which are deployed currently across the Assistive Technology (AT) space toward measuring innovation. The main aim of this paper is to identify functional innovation strategies and processes which are being or can be deployed in the AT space to increase access to AT globally. We conducted a scoping review of innovation strategies and processes in peer-reviewed literature databases and complemented this by identifying case studies demonstrating innovation strategies. The review includes WHO world region, publication year, AT type and a sector analysis against the Systems-Market for Assistive and Related Technologies Framework. We analyzed the case studies and interviews using thematic analysis. We included 91 papers out of 3,127 after review along with 72 case studies. Our results showed that product innovations were more prevalent than provision or supply innovations across papers and case studies. Case studies yielded two themes: open innovation (OI); radical and disruptive innovation. Financial instruments which encourage OI are needed and we recommend pursuing OI for AT innovation. Embedding AT within larger societal missions will be key to success governments and investors need to understand what AT is and their translational socioeconomic value.

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A review of innovation strategies and processes to improve access to AT: Looking ahead to open innovation ecosystems

Catherine Holloway, Dafne Zuleima Morgado Ramirez, Tigmanshu Bhatnagar, Ben Oldfrey, Priya Morjaria, Soikat Ghosh Moulic, Ikenna D. Ebuenyi, Giulia Barbareschi, Fiona Meeks, Jessica Massie, Felipe Ramos-Barajas, Joanne McVeigh, Kyle Keane, George Torrens, P. V.M. Rao, Malcolm MacLachlan, Victoria Austin, Rainer Kattel, Cheryl D Metcalf & Srinivasan Sujatha (2021) A review of innovation strategies and processes to improve access to AT: Looking ahead to open innovation ecosystems, Assistive Technology, 33:sup1, 68-86, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2021.1970653

A review of innovation strategies and processes to improve access to AT: Looking ahead to open innovation ecosystems

A venn diagram of People Place and Practice, overlapping circles showing the relationship

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Inclusive Design
Co-creating Inclusive Public Spaces: Learnings from Four Global Case Studies on inclusive Cities

Public spaces, including recreational and social spaces, are often not prioritised. Inclusive public spaces are fundamental to participation and inclusive in society. Including persons with disabilities in the design and planning of the built environment supports equal rights and helps identify people’s aspirations for inclusive environments. Four city case studies will be discussed in this paper: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Varanasi, India; Surakarta, Indonesia; and Nairobi, Kenya.

The Journal of Public Space

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Abstract

Co-creating Inclusive Public Spaces: Learnings from Four Global Case Studies on inclusive Cities

This paper presents some of the findings from a global research study on inclusive infrastructure and city design and will focus on inclusive public spaces. Persons with disabilities can experience multi-dimensional exclusion from urban life, including but not limited to physical, attitudinal and social barriers. Public spaces, including recreational and social spaces, are often not prioritised. Inclusive public spaces are fundamental to participation and inclusive in society. Including persons with disabilities in the design and planning of the built environment supports equal rights and helps identify people’s aspirations for inclusive environments.
Four city case studies will be discussed in this paper: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Varanasi, India; Surakarta, Indonesia; and Nairobi, Kenya. Research participants and objectives are organised by three stakeholder groups:


  1. People - first-hand experiences of persons with disabilities living in the city and their aspirations for a more inclusive city
  2. Policy - the awareness and understanding of inclusive design among policy-makers
  3. Practice - the awareness and understanding of inclusive design among practitioners including barriers to implementation, opportunities and the relationship with assistive technology

Methods include document reviews, interviews, photo diaries and co-design workshops with participatory and inclusive engagement of persons with disabilities throughout. Findings on public spaces are discussed in three ways:


  1. The types of public spaces valued by participants in each of the four cities.
  2. The barriers and challenges experienced by persons with disabilities in the public realm.
  3. Aspirations for more inclusive public spaces and opportunities for inclusive design

The paper concludes by discussing how the targeted stakeholder groups of people, policy and practice also help represent three essential dimensions of inclusive city design and forming a framework for successful implementation and delivery and supporting targets set out through the UNCRPD and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Co-creating Inclusive Public Spaces: Learnings from Four Global Case Studies on inclusive Cities

Patrick, M. and McKinnon, I. (2022) “Co-creating Inclusive Public Spaces: Learnings from Four Global Case Studies on inclusive Cities”, The Journal of Public Space, 7(2), pp. 93–116. doi: 10.32891/jps.v7i2.1500.

Co-creating Inclusive Public Spaces: Learnings from Four Global Case Studies on inclusive Cities

A group of people are photographed in sports wear in an athletic stadium

Type

Journal Paper

Themes

Culture and Participation

Research Group

Social Justice
Paralympic Broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sport, Media and Communication for Social Change

Jessica Noske-Turner, Emma Pullen, Mufunanji Magalasi, Damian Haslett, Jo Tacchi

Communication & Sport

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Abstract

Paralympic Broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sport, Media and Communication for Social Change

The purpose of this commentary is to discuss how Paralympic coverage in sub-Saharan Africa can be effectively mobilised to stimulate discursive and structural change around disability. Paralympic coverage has demonstrated its pedagogical power to engage public(s) and challenge stigma toward disability. Yet, the Global picture of Paralympic broadcasting is deeply uneven, with audiences in parts of the Global South afforded limited opportunities to watch the Games. Considering this, the International Paralympic Committee has begun to broadcast Paralympic coverage across sub-Saharan Africa with an explicit aim to challenge stigma toward disability. In this article, we draw on examples from research to argue that ideas from the field of Communication for Social Change (CfSC) can add value towards this aim. We begin by providing a brief overview of CfSC before critically examining one of the field’s key concepts – Communicative (E)ecologies. Following this, we critically reflect on the potential of Paralympic broadcasting as a vehicle for social change and disability rights agendas in sub-Saharan Africa. We argue that thinking with CfSC concepts show the importance of a ‘decentred’ media approach that engages with disability community advocacy groups, localised communication activities and practices, and culturally specific disability narratives.

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Paralympic Broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sport, Media and Communication for Social Change

Noske-Turner, J., Pullen, E., Magalasi, M., Haslett, D., & Tacchi, J. (2022). Paralympic Broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sport, Media and Communication for Social Change. Communication & Sport, 10(5), 1001–1015. https://doi.org/10.1177/216747...

Paralympic Broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sport, Media and Communication for Social Change

Type

Toolkit
Innovate Now Toolkit

As an entrepreneur, learning how to solve problems by creating and experimenting with different strategies is a core pillar of the entrepreneurial mindset you need to succeed. However, there’s rarely a single correct way to solve problems as an entrepreneur, so you need to learn how to create and compare different solutions.

The open entrepreneurship toolkit is a set of learning materials that can help you and your team do just that. Covering the domains of user, product, market and business development, the set of cards have been designed to be used by two or more group members to actively experiment with different solutions.

Innovate Now

Innovate Now Toolkit

Kenyan man holding a prosthesis

Type

PhD

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Disability Interactions
Specifying a Hybrid, Multiple Material CAD System for Next Generation Prosthetic Design

Troy Bodkin

Doctoral Thesis. This work is one of four multidisciplinary research studies conducted by members of this research cluster, focusing on the area of Computer Aided Design (CAD) for improving the interface with Additive Manufacture (AM) to solve some of the challenges presented with improving prosthetic socket design, with an aim to improve and streamline the process to enable the involvement of clinicians and patients in the design process.

Loughborough University

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Abstract

Specifying a Hybrid, Multiple Material CAD System for Next Generation Prosthetic Design

For many years, the biggest issue that causes discomfort and hygiene issues for patients with lower limb amputations have been the interface between body and prosthetic, the socket. Often made of an inflexible, solid polymer that does not allow the residual limb to breathe or perspire and with no consideration for the changes in size and shape of the human body caused by changes in temperature or environment, inflammation, irritation and discomfort often cause reduced usage or outright rejection of the prosthetic by the patient in their day to day lives. To address these issues and move towards a future of improved quality of life for patients who suffer amputations, Loughborough University formed the Next Generation Prosthetics research cluster. This work is one of four multidisciplinary research studies conducted by members of this research cluster, focusing on the area of Computer Aided Design (CAD) for improving the interface with Additive Manufacture (AM) to solve some of the challenges presented with improving prosthetic socket design, with an aim to improve and streamline the process to enable the involvement of clinicians and patients in the design process. The research presented in this thesis is based on three primary studies. The first study involved the conception of a CAD criteria, deciding what features are needed to represent the various properties the future socket outlined by the research cluster needs. These criteria were then used for testing three CAD systems, one each from the Parametric, Non Uniform Rational Basis Spline (NURBS) and Polygon archetypes respectively. The result of these tests led to the creation of a hybrid control workflow, used as the basis for finding improvements. The second study explored emerging CAD solutions, various new systems or plug-ins that had opportunities to improve the control model. These solutions were tested individually in areas where they could improve the workflow, and the successful solutions were added to the hybrid workflow to improve and reduce the workflow further. The final study involved taking the knowledge gained from the literature and the first two studies in order to theorise how an ideal CAD system for producing future prosthetic sockets would work, with considerations for user interface issues as well as background CAD applications. The third study was then used to inform the final deliverable of this research, a software design specification that defines how the system would work. This specification was written as a challenge to the CAD community, hoping to inform and aid future advancements in CAD software. As a final stage of research validation, a number of members of the CAD community were contacted and interviewed about their feelings of the work produced and their feedback was taken in order to inform future research in this area.

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Specifying a Hybrid, Multiple Material CAD System for Next Generation Prosthetic Design

Bodkin, Troy L. (2017): Specifying a hybrid, multiple material CAD system for next-generation prosthetic design. Loughborough University. Thesis. https://hdl.handle.net/2134/25...;

Specifying a Hybrid, Multiple Material CAD System for Next Generation Prosthetic Design

Image of a young man in a red t-shirt sitting in his wheelchair inside a community space

Type

PhD

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Disability Interactions
YouTransfer, YouDesign: A Participatory Approach to Design Assistive Technology for Wheelchair Transfers

Giulia Barbareschi

Doctoral Thesis. This thesis makes two contributions to facilitate wheelchair users’ engagement in the participatory design process for ATs, while being mindful of the burden of participation. The first contribution is a framework that provides a modular structure guiding the participatory design process from initial problem identification and analysis to facilitating collaborations between wheelchair users and designers. The framework identifies four factors determining the need and adoption process for ATs: (i) People focuses on the target population, (ii) Person includes personal characteristics, (iii) Activity refers to the challenges associated with the task, and (iv) Context encompasses the effect of the environment in which the activity takes place. The second contribution constitutes a rich picture of personal and external elements influencing real world wheelchair transfers that emerged from four studies carried out to investigate the effect of the framework factors on the design process for ATs.

UCL (University College London)

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Abstract

YouTransfer, YouDesign: A Participatory Approach to Design Assistive Technology for Wheelchair Transfers

Transferring independently to and from their wheelchair is an essential routine task for many wheelchair users but it can be physically demanding and can lead to falls and upper limb injuries that reduce the person’s independence. New assistive technologies (ATs) that facilitate the performance of wheelchair transfers have the potential to allow wheelchair users to gain further independence. To ensure that users’ needs are addressed by ATs, the active involvement of wheelchair users in the process of design and development is critical. However, participation can be burdensome for many wheelchair users as design processes where users are directly involved often require prolonged engagement. This thesis makes two contributions to facilitate wheelchair users’ engagement in the participatory design process for ATs, while being mindful of the burden of participation. The first contribution is a framework that provides a modular structure guiding the participatory design process from initial problem identification and analysis to facilitating collaborations between wheelchair users and designers. The framework identifies four factors determining the need and adoption process for ATs: (i) People focuses on the target population, (ii) Person includes personal characteristics, (iii) Activity refers to the challenges associated with the task, and (iv) Context encompasses the effect of the environment in which the activity takes place. The second contribution constitutes a rich picture of personal and external elements influencing real world wheelchair transfers that emerged from four studies carried out to investigate the effect of the framework factors on the design process for ATs. A related outcome based on these contributions is a framing document to share knowledge between wheelchair users and designers to provide focus and promote an equal collaboration among participants.

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YouTransfer, YouDesign: A Participatory Approach to Design Assistive Technology for Wheelchair Transfers

Barbareschi, Giulia. “YouTransfer, YouDesign : a Participatory Approach to Design Assistive Technology for Wheelchair Transfers / Giulia Barbareschi.” Thesis (Ph.D.)--University College London, 2018., 2018. Print.

YouTransfer, YouDesign: A Participatory Approach to Design Assistive Technology for Wheelchair Transfers

A man holding a bicycle seat with a 3d printed splint on his wrist

Type

PhD

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology

Research Group

Disability Interactions
Understanding wrist splint user needs and personalisation through codesign

Charlotte Pyatt

A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.

Loughborough University

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Abstract

Understanding wrist splint user needs and personalisation through codesign

Wrist splints are a common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, however their effectiveness is compromised by patients not wearing splints as often as prescribed. Previous research has identified a number of reasons for non-compliance, but typically lacks insights that could lead to improved splint design.

This thesis investigates the motivators for patients to wear and not wear their wrist splints and, the impact of personalisation of splint appearance on patient wear. The work is based on the premise that digital design and manufacturing processes, such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D Printing, can produce bespoke splints on demand.

The research begins with a literature review across the core areas of: splinting, additive manufacture, product appearance and personalisation. This literature review identifies gaps in knowledge from which research questions are established for the work.

The research employs a qualitative, generative design research approach and, follows a codesign framework employing telling, making and enacting tools. The thesis is made up of three studies. The first study is a sensitisation study and uses design probes to prepare the participants for the research and begin exploring the problem space. The second is a comprehensive study into participants splint wear behaviour and uses context mapping and scenario picture card tools to investigate the motivators for participants to wear and not wear wrist splints, along with positive and negative outcomes or wearing/not wearing splints. The final study uses a personalisation toolkit to elicit patient needs for a future wrist splint design and investigate self-reported expectations regarding compliance of patients who used the toolkit.

The research finds that patient compliance is affected by practical and aesthetic limitations of current splints. It identifies 4 motivating factors to wear a splint and 10 motivating factors to not wear a splint. Additionally, it identifies 6 positive outcomes of wearing splints, 6 negative outcomes of wearing splints, 3 positive outcomes of not wearing splints and 3 negative outcomes of not wearing splints. Requirements for an improved splint design are established and form the basis of the design for a prototype personalisation toolkit. Testing of this toolkit reveals that patients are keen to own more than one splint and personalise splints to match the scenario in which it is to be worn. Patients reported that they expected to be more compliant with a personalised splint when compared to their current splint.

Cite

Understanding wrist splint user needs and personalisation through codesign

Pyatt, Charlotte (2018): Understanding wrist splint user needs and personalisation through codesign. Loughborough University. Thesis. https://doi.org/10.26174/thesi...;

Understanding wrist splint user needs and personalisation through codesign

A screenshot of examples of common interfaces of wheelchair use, a joy stick, head control and sip/puff switch

Type

PhD

Themes

Assistive & Accessible Technology
Shared Control for Wheelchair Interfaces

Dr Chinemelu Ejiamatu Muoma Ezeh

Doctoral Thesis. Independent mobility is fundamental to the quality of life of people with impairment. Most people with severe mobility impairments, whether congenital, e.g., from cerebral palsy, or acquired, e.g., from spinal cord injury, are prescribed a wheelchair. A small yet significant number of people are unable to use a typical powered wheelchair controlled with a joystick. Instead, some of these people require alternative interfaces such as a head- array or Sip/Puff switch to drive their powered wheelchairs. However, these alternative interfaces do not work for everyone and often cause frustration, fatigue and collisions. This thesis develops a novel technique to help improve the usability of some of these alternative interfaces, in particular, the head-array and Sip/Puff switch.

UCL (University College London)

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Abstract

Shared Control for Wheelchair Interfaces

Independent mobility is fundamental to the quality of life of people with impairment. Most people with severe mobility impairments, whether congenital, e.g., from cerebral palsy, or acquired, e.g., from spinal cord injury, are prescribed a wheelchair. A small yet significant number of people are unable to use a typical powered wheelchair controlled with a joystick. Instead, some of these people require alternative interfaces such as a head- array or Sip/Puff switch to drive their powered wheelchairs. However, these alternative interfaces do not work for everyone and often cause frustration, fatigue and collisions. This thesis develops a novel technique to help improve the usability of some of these alternative interfaces, in particular, the head-array and Sip/Puff switch. Control is shared between a powered wheelchair user, using an alternative interface and a pow- ered wheelchair fitted with sensors. This shared control then produces a resulting motion that is close to what the user desires to do but a motion that is also safe. A path planning algorithm on the wheelchair is implemented using techniques in mo- bile robotics. Afterwards, the output of the path planning algorithm and the user’s com- mand are both modelled as random variables. These random variables are then blended in a joint probability distribution where the final velocity to the wheelchair is the one that maximises the joint probability distribution. The performance of the probabilistic approach to blending the user’s inputs with the output of a path planner, is benchmarked against the most common form of shared control called linear blending. The benchmarking consists of several experiments with end users both in a simulated world and in the real-world. The thesis concludes that probabilistic shared control provides safer motion compared with the traditional shared control for difficult tasks and hard-to-use interfaces.

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Shared Control for Wheelchair Interfaces

Ezeh, Chinemelu Ejiamatu Muoma. Shared Control for Wheelchair Interfaces. UCL (University College London), 2018. Print.

Shared Control for Wheelchair Interfaces