Assistive Technology (AT) helps address social and economic barriers and can positively impact the lives of people with disabilities. Single-entry point (SEP) systems have been shown as successful models for reducing barriers encountered when acquiring and using AT. This chapter highlights a mixed method case study in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), which sought to explore barriers consumers faced in acquiring and being satisfied with AT, as well as the potential for an SEP system in NL. NL is an Atlantic Canadian province characterized by a small population dispersed over a large island and remote mainland. Data were collected using individual interviews with disability service providers in community and post-secondary settings across the province and a survey to assess barriers to accessing AT, AT utilization, and satisfaction among consumers with disabilities. Many consumers and service providers demonstrated that they recognized the benefits of AT but expressed dissatisfaction with existing programs and services citing cost, lack of knowledge, training, and funding subsidies as the most significant barriers to access. Improving access to AT is a necessary step toward enhancing education and employment opportunities, facilitating social inclusion, and optimizing overall health for people with disabilities. Investigating the feasibility of SEP programs modeled after American and Australian initiatives should be part of future planning for Canada, especially in small urban, rural, and remote areas where demand for provision of AT is under-resourced.
Penton, V.M. (2015), "Assistive Technology Provision for People with Disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada", Efficacy of Assistive Technology Interventions (Advances in Special Education Technology, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 139-162. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2056-769320150000001006Download as .RIS
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