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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Rehabilitation counselors can begin to assist women with issues of abuse by acknowledging that advocacy and protection from abusive behavior are a priority for many women with disabilities. By routinely asking about abuse and addressing issues of safety and control during rehabilitation planning, counselors can provide valuable information, resources, and support that may help prevent abuse from occurring and assist women for whom abuse has occurred. To address abuse issues during rehabilitation, rehabilitation professionals have several responsibilities to (a) learn about violence by using available training related to abuse of people with disabilities; (b) employ universal screening as a routine client-intake procedure; (c) volunteer information, resources, and referrals to clients who are in danger or at risk of an abusive situation; (d) facilitate collaboration with domestic violence shelters to supply personal care services and replace medications and assistive devices left behind in an emergency situation.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization [WHO], 2001), and its predecessors the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH and ICIDH - 2; WHO, 1980, 1999) have been influential in the conceptualization of the construct of disability in the United States and internationally for more than three decades. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the history of classification of health and illness, and the role that different conceptualizations of disability have played along the way. It then reviews the development of the ICF within the context of these conceptualizations and introduces its key concepts, conceptual framework, and a brief orientation to its use. It concludes with consideration of the current and future impact of the ICF on conceptualizing psychological and social aspects of illness and disability.