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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Assistive Technologies, Volume 7, Issue 4
We end our seventh volume with two peer-reviewed papers and three shorter articles.
Our first peer-reviewed paper uses the term assisted living technology; it is also becoming more common to hear the term assistive learning technology at conferences, so it seems that assistive technologies are reaching a level of maturity where clearer definition is needed. In their paper, Andrea Wigfield and Katy Wright from the University of Leeds, writing with Elizabeth Burtney and Dianne Buddery from Skills for Care, consider the implications of the increasing use of assisted living technology for the workforce. Use of technologies is of course a central focus for JAT, and we have rejected several papers in recent months that have been too focused on technical or clinical issues rather than on usage. This is not to suggest any deficiency in those papers, but to indicate that there are other journals to which they would be best submitted.
In their peer-reviewed paper, the Systems Demonstrator Evaluation Team at City University London, led by Stanton Newman, Lorna Rixon and Shashivadan Hirani, report on their project funded by the UK Department of Health. Once again, the emphasis is on use, and the technologies in question are those usually grouped under the term telehealth. The paper looks in particular at patient response to telehealth and the reasons for withdrawal from its use.
As usual, we also offer some shorter articles, a means of allowing authors to alert readers to ongoing work, to report on initial findings in advance of full peer-reviewed papers, and, in some cases, to offer early career researchers access to publication. In the case of our first article, however, we are indebted to Kevin Doughty, Associate Editor of JAT, who has once again written for us with co-author Patrick Mulvihill. This time he focuses on Digital Healthcare through telecare, providing a useful counterpoint to the article above. Joseph Mintz from the Institute of Education, London, considers the use of smartphones by children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Mobile devices in general, and smartphones and tablets in particular, are leading to radical changes of practice in assistive technologies use, especially for learning, and JAT welcomes further submissions on this topic.
Editorial Board Member Katerina Mavrou rounds off this issue with a review of a new web site about graphic symbols. The site is one of the first to be independent of any of the various symbol sets available, and provides an overview of this fast-developing area.