A study on welfare technology for people with developmental disabilities

Can people with disabilities work? And is there a chance for them to study at university and participate in developing research as researchers?

Ole Magnus Oterhals shows that this is possible.

The research project was developed by two researchers and a co-researcher with developmental disabilities. In one municipality, people with developmental disabilities received welfare technology. Researchers had to find out whether the users were satisfied with the technology and what did they use it for.

The technological tools they got were an iPad, remote controls, and a Memoplanner.
These were used for both organizational and entertainment purposes.

The participants were satisfied with the technology. It made them more independent, and more self-determined. In order for this research study to be successful, it was important to have research staff available to mediate and help with the use of the aforementioned technology.

The article is written in Norwegian but here you can find a description in English.

Ref: “Østby, M., Bakken, H., Oterhals, O. M., & Ellingsen, K. E. Jeg kan!. Tidsskrift for omsorgsforskning7(01), 1-23.”


Assistive technology aims to increase the possibilities for independence and participation in daily life. Although there has been an increase in studies on assistive technology for persons with intellectual disabilities, few studies have included minimally verbal or non-verbal persons.

Five minimally verbal or non-verbal persons with intellectual disabilities were interviewed about their experiences with such technology, supported by symbols, pictures, and familiar persons as interpreters. The study had an inclusive approach, where one person with an intellectual disability participated as a co-researcher throughout the study.
Data was analysed using simple content analysis.

The results show a high degree of user satisfaction. The technology was used in many of the daily activities. Assistive technology has promoted predictability, self-determination, autonomy, and age-appropriate activities.

Here is a link to the full article: https://www.idunn.no/tidsskrift_for_omsorgsforskning/2021/01/jeg_kan 

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