Assistive technology (AT) has a profound impact on the everyday lives and employment opportunities of individuals with disabilities by providing them with greater independence and enabling them to perform activities not possible in the past. Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and motivation are described as central elements in increasing a consumer’s confidence and belief in self. Good outcomes and efficacy expectations, as well as strong motivation, help lead to successful adaptation to AT. This chapter presents the human component of technology, the relationship between consumers and technological devices/equipment, and the acceptance and use by consumers. It offers recommendations to assist rehabilitation professionals in helping consumers with accepting, utilizing, and benefiting from technology. There needs to be a close and appropriate fit between the technological device and consumer. Therefore, the need for the counselor to actively listen and engage the consumer in the process is essential to the effectiveness and outcome of AT success.
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This book brings to life the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) for rehabilitation counselors. The book presents contemporary information that can be used to educate, guide practice, and provide the foundation for emerging research related to the psychosocial aspects of disability and chronic disease. It provides a powerful and informative resource for students, practitioners, and scholars in developing and reinforcing rehabilitation counseling principles that guide rehabilitation counseling education, practice, and research. The book is organized into five major parts containing 30 chapters. Part I presents the historical perspectives on illness and disability. Part II offers insights into the personal impact of illness and disability on individuals by looking closely at several unique psychosocial life experiences. It discusses various theories of adaptation to disability, the unique experiences faced by women with disabilities, gender differences regarding sexuality, multicultural and family perspectives of disability, and quality of life (QOL) issues for those with disabilities. Part III addresses issues such as involvement, support, and coping of family members (parents, children, spouses, and partners) which includes family caregiving and counseling, to promote optimal medical, physical, mental, emotional, and psychological functioning of the person with a disability. Part IV reflects the growing need for diagnostic, treatment, and preventive interventions, and the coordination of important resources to help persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities achieve optimal levels of independent functioning. It delves on substance use disorders, trauma-related mental health problems among combat veterans, and assistive technology. The final part addresses several contemporary issues faced by persons with chronic illness and disabilities (CIDs) that are relevant to counselors and practice. It discusses newer challenges that these individuals face, including obesity, poor nutrition, poverty, suicide, threat of terrorism, and depression, all of which are on the rise in the United States.