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Disabil Rehabil. 2005 Jul 8;27(13):731-9.

Assessing the benefits of using assistive technologies and other supports for thinking, remembering and learning.

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Institute for Matching Person & Technology, Webster, New York 14580, USA.



Planning assistive technologies and other supports for individuals with cognitive disabilities requires a comprehensive and individualized assessment of current goals, past experiences with the use of technologies and other supports, and the person's predisposition to the use of alternative or additional supports. This paper discusses a foundation for the refinement of an existing assessment process to match technologies to individuals with cognitive disabilities.


Prior research and a literature review identified the critical needs for an assessment process that would serve to identify key elements known to influence the success use of assistive technology and other supports by persons with cognitive disabilities.


The components of successful, effective and satisfied support use result from a good match of device and support features, user goals and preferences, and environmental resources. The relationship to the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the International Standardization Organization's international standard ISO DIS 9999 is discussed.


As the number of assistive technology options increase, individualized interventions for individuals with cognitive disabilities will be easier to accomplish. The key to successful and optimal use of these products will be an appropriate and comprehensive assessment of consumer needs and preferences and the identification of additional accommodations and supports.

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