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From The CriticsReviewer: Janet Bischof-Rosario, OTR/L(Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Description: This new book consists of 15 chapters covering the major areas of assistive technology, including a model for service provision, computer access, home and worksite accommodation, assistive devices/aids for both hearing and visual impairments, interactive technologies, and technologies of the future. Each chapter includes descriptions of the current devices/methods and how independence is enhanced through case examples, future changes and expected improvements, and quality pathways to selecting the most appropriate device within the category.
Purpose: The book's main focus is to improve the selection process in assistive technology, which will ensure an appropriate match between the consumer and the technology. This objective was met in all chapters as each author emphasized evaluation criteria with the emphasis on the consumer's goals, needs, and ideas. Ten of the 15 chapters are written by individuals with disabilities, which results in a significant emphasis on the necessary partnership between the consumer and practitioner.
Audience: This book is targeted for both the consumer needing to know that a certain type of technology exists, and for clinicians new to assistive technology, including occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, special educators, vocational counselors, social workers, rehabilitation engineers, audiologists, and vision specialists. Experienced clinicians in assistive technology will find the book less useful for specific device/applications information, but will gain a greater appreciation for the process of evaluation in assistive technology. Persons new to assistive technology will gain significant knowledge in types of technology available and the selection process.
Features: There are excellent illustrations in several chapters, but illustrations are noticeably absent in chapters on home and worksite accommodations, children and play, aids for hearing impaired, communication devices, and seating and wheeled mobility aids. There are excellent references throughout each chapter. Tables add significantly to content in many chapters. The illustrations in the transportation chapter facilitate the learning process.
Assessment: This book is an excellent addition to the library on assistive technology, as it offers technical and process information to the consumer and new clinicians, and excellent insights on facilitating an appropriate match between the consumer and the technology for the experienced clinician.