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Research Article  |   July 2009
Use of Assistive Technology Devices in Mainstream Schools: Students’ Perspective
Author Affiliations
  • Helena Hemmingsson, Reg. OT, PhD, is Senior Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Fack 23 200, 141 83 Huddinge, Sweden; helena.hemmingsson@ki.se
  • Helene Lidström, Reg. OT, MSc, is PhD Student, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Louise Nygård, Reg. OT, PhD, is Associate Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Article Information
Assistive Technology / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   July 2009
Use of Assistive Technology Devices in Mainstream Schools: Students’ Perspective
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2009, Vol. 63, 463-472. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.4.463
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2009, Vol. 63, 463-472. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.4.463
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The use and nonuse of assistive technology devices in school by students with physical disabilities was investigated, and the students’ experiences in using these devices is described.

METHOD. We used a mixed-methods approach with predominantly qualitative methods to collect and analyze data, which included observations of and interviews with 20 students with physical disabilities and the number and type of assistive technology devices provided.

RESULTS. It is vital that devices be integrated into educational practice and that students experience immediate benefits for their function in everyday school activities without detrimental effects on their social participation. The latter was often more important than being able to perform activities independently.

CONCLUSION. The students adopted both a functional and a psychosocial perspective of their devices, and providers should neglect neither. Children and youth need both verbal information and practical experience using devices to be able to make informed decisions.