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Lessons learned from applying a comprehensive assistive technology delivery and training protocol

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Individuals with severe physical disabilities often face multiple barriers to communication and meaningful interactions with their peers and their environment. The PRISM Lab at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Toronto, Ontario) strives to create novel access technologies (AT) that will allow individuals with complex physical disabilities to communicate and participate more fully in their everyday lives.

Our primary goal is to provide each of our clients with an AT solution that is satisfactory, efficient, and effective. We also aim to reduce or prevent technology abandonment in order to improve long-term outcomes. In light of these goals, we have developed a comprehensive AT development and training protocol involving not only the client, but also their family and communication partners, including teachers and clinicians. Although the protocol is structured, it is flexible enough to allow for customized technology, individualized goals, and diverse environments that are unique to each client.

In our presentation, we will use an informal case-study format to describe the challenges that we faced in applying this complex protocol to real-life situations and we will share the strategies that we developed to mitigate those challenges. We will also discuss the progress our clients have made in spite of the challenges faced and highlight areas that remain in need of improvement. Our intention with this presentation is to provide ideas and solutions for attendees working with similar populations.


Leslie Ordal    
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Fanny HotzĂ©    
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Tom Chau    
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital


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