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Assistive Technology Service Delivery: A Practical Guide for Disability and Employment Professionals

Assistive Technology Service Delivery: A Practical Guide for Disability and Employment Professionals

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Assistive Technology Service Delivery: A Practical Guide for Disability and Employment Professionals

523 Seiten
Sep 14, 2018


Assistive Technology Service Delivery: A Practical Guide for Disability and Employment Professionals provides professionals working in vocational rehabilitation with the guidelines and methodologies they need to carry out their daily work at a high standard. Crucially, the techniques and tools described in the book are based on evidence gathered in rigorous research. Chapters cover an introduction to the accommodations system, the role of assistive technology as an accommodation and evidence-based practice in vocational rehabilitation, the service delivery process, from referral, through technology procurement and implementation, to the monitoring of outcomes.

Drawing on their extensive experience, the authors then present techniques, tools and tips for assistive technology service delivery, with illustrative case study examples. Written with practicing assistive technology professionals and students in mind, this book translates technical knowledge into content that professionals can understand and readily apply.

  • Presented in a highly accessible style that translates technical knowledge into content that practicing professionals can understand and readily apply
  • Based on evidence-based practice, giving the reader the evidence to support the application of assistive technology in vocational rehabilitation
  • Written by highly-regarded assistive technology professionals who share their hands-on experience of applying the techniques, tools and tips covered in the book
Sep 14, 2018

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Assistive Technology Service Delivery - Academic Press


Part 1

The accommodations system model


Part 1. The accommodations system model

Chapter 1 Accommodation System

Chapter 2 Accommodation System

Chapter 3 The accommodation System

Chapter 4 Accommodation System

Chapter 5 Accommodation System

Part 1. The accommodations system model

What Is the Accommodation System Model?

Talking about effective task engagement at home, work, in school, for sports, or to do any kind of activity can be difficult. When we need accommodations to do this, it can be even more difficult. The accommodation system (AS) model helps us organize our thoughts around basic need areas. We consider all the areas which give rise to the need. Determining need goes much further than simply deciding what assistive technologies to use. There are many things to consider. Even when we find what seems like a very good match to an individual’s needs, the technology may still go unused. We must consider the person, the environment, the task engagement activity, social integration, effective accommodations and how all these elements come together. We call this our situated experience.

Why Is the Accommodation System Model Important?

Being employed is one of the primary ways in which we find meaning in life (Haworth, 1997). As a result, we need a better understanding of how to obtain, maintain, or improve our work situation when we are or become disabled. We can

• use the AS model as a guide;

• work toward our goals without giving up;

• anticipate and plan for as many needs as possible;

• avoid spending money on things we do not need or will not use;

• consider how other people will see us and how we will feel when we use accommodations; and

• overall, we can consider whether we will be satisfied with how the accommodations should help us on the job.

Because we are all different, the AS model may also offer us insight into areas we may not have otherwise considered.

What Is the Structure of the Accommodation System Model?

The AS comprises five core domains: Self, Others, Environment, Accommodations, and Situated Experience. The domains are placed in a large inner circle within a circle (an inner circle within an outer ring). The self is in the inner circle at the center of the model. The outer ring is divided into four equal parts each of which represents Others, Environment, Accommodations, and Situated Experience. Each of these domains is separated by a broken line between the elements. This illustrates how closely each domain interacts with each of the others. The Self is in a large circle at the center of the model to illustrate that people are the central focus in the AS. The domains in the outer ring (i.e., Others, Accommodations, Environment, and Situated Experience) interact with each other but all find meaning in the Self. In other words, each of these domains is important, but we as individuals make sense of them. We are working to achieve our goals when these domains are aligned. We find satisfaction and meaning in our work lives. See Fig. 1A for an illustration of the accommodation system model.

Figure 1 (A) The accommodation system model.

Accommodations as Activity Enablers

The enablement model is another way to view the AS model. By using accommodations, we are able to work to the greatest extent possible (Stephens, 2009). As a result, we can more fully participate in community life. This gives us a sense of hope, self-reliance, and true enablement (Elliott, Kurylo, & Rivera, 2005). With true enablement, or true rehabilitation, we are able to

• be as independent as possible in all aspects of our lives throughout our lifespan;

• improve the quality of our lives;

• be connected with others in a meaningful way;

• better understand our accommodation needs, how they may change, and how well they have met our needs.

We can expect accommodations to facilitate practical outcomes allowing us to better navigate the environments and engage in the tasks that are expected of us in employment (Stephens, 2009).

We present the Accommodation and Enablement models side-by-side for an easy comparison (see Fig. 1B): each domain of the AS (on the left) reflects the corresponding enablement domain (on the right): Self (intrinsic enablement), Others (interpersonal enablement), Environment (environmental enablement), Accommodations (extrinsic enablement), and Situated Experience (autotelic enablement). We discuss each of these domains in the following chapters (Fig. 1C).

Figure 1 (B) Elements of the accommodation system model.

Figure 1 (C) The accommodation system and enablement domains.


1. Elliott TR, Kurylo M, Rivera P. Positive growth following acquired physical disability. In: Snyder CR, Lopez SJ, eds. Handbook of positive psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2005;687–699.

2. Haworth JT. Work, leisure, and well-being London: Routledge; 1997.

3. Stephens D. Living with hearing difficulties: the process of enablement West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons; 2009.

Chapter 1

Accommodation System


Anthony Shay,    Capacity Building Specialist, Assistive Technologist, and Rehabilitation Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI), Menomonie, WI, United States


A domain within the accommodation system (AS) model, the Self represents the innate qualities an individual brings to employment. The Self is one of five domains comprising the AS which also includes Others, Environment, Accommodations, and Situated Experience. Each of the domains reciprocally interacts with the others. The Self is delineated in relation to employment task engagement using the conceptual frameworks of the Great 8, vocational competence, disability, and functional limitations that provide an overview of what a person with a disability brings to the employment process. The AS sets the stage for the provision of accommodation services within the context of the employment of people with disabilities.


Self; accommodation system; vocational competence; identity; Great 8; disability; functional limitation; impairment; activity limitation

What is the Self?

The self is who we are. It is all the individual pieces by which we recognize ourselves as being different and yet the same as everyone else. Our sense of self or I is dependent upon an elemental consciousness we derive from an "immediacy and certainty’ of experience" (emphasis in the original) (Erikson, 1997, p. 86). The Self is central to the accommodation system (AS) model primarily due to the central nature of the self-observing I and its fundamental importance to the study and understanding of the interplay and ramifications of task engagement on the other AS domains (Erikson, 1997, p. 87). It is these aspects of self which must be accounted for when we decide to find or change employment. The self is the first of the five domains of the AS we will be discussing in Part 1 of this text. Each of these domains (i.e., Self, Others, Environment, Accommodations, and Situated Experience) interacts with and influences the others. The AS model offers a framework for understanding the role of the self in relation to other core domains of Other, Environment, Accommodations, and Situated Experience in the provision of accommodations in employment.

The Self in the Context of Employment

The more we invest of ourselves in the job development process the more meaning and satisfaction we derive from the subsequent job we find. We can define satisfying and meaningful work as such when it reflects our primary employment factors: strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice (Giesen & Hierholzer, 2016, p. 175; Vocational Rehabilitation, 2016) or, in other words, our Great 8. Using the Great 8 as a guide we ensure we take an individualized, person-centered approach to making employment-related decisions which leads to job satisfaction (Cobigo, Lachapelle, & Morin, 2010). These decisions are also influenced by mental processes both of which we are aware and of those of which we are not fully aware (Feuerstein, Feuerstein, & Falik, 2010, p. xvi).

The Great 8 in More Detail

The Great 8 represents aspects of the self which are helpful considerations in making work-related decisions which allows us to effectively compete in the job market leading to gainful employment. Factors such as these are especially useful in developing employment goals and defining a career or job orientation. Although each of us are different—we each bring a unique mix of these qualities to employment—it is the quality of our situated experiences that matter most (Wolfe, 2001). We are complex, dynamic, and unique. As a result, we not only find greater meaning in jobs that are closely matched to the attributes of the self, the jobs we obtain last longer (Bond, 2004). We define the Great 8 is as follows:

1. Strengths: Positive qualities or innate proficiencies. Strengths may include attributes such as intellect, physical ability (e.g., motor coordination, task speed, and accuracy), language mastery, self-regulation, intrinsic motivation, and talents (e.g., being mechanically inclined). Strengths may be developed through paid work experience, volunteer experience, hobbies, and other life experiences. Strengths are virtues which are universal, essential, and an irreducible part of our character (Peterson, 2006). Virtues and strengths are discussed in more detail later in the chapter.

2. Resources: Resources refer to the supports we have available to us (e.g., job coaching, food pantry, support groups) toward achievement of an employment goal. They may be personal, community, or other more peripheral supports. Individual resource mapping allows us to visualize and plan for resource acquisition and utilization as we prepare for employment. Maps illustrate the range of supports to which we may have access. Resources, such as transportation, may be provided by more than one source. An example might be when we borrow a friend’s vehicle to go to a volunteer work experience and get money from our parents for gasoline, stop by the service station to put air in the tires, and hang a disability placard in the window so we can park nearer to the building on the work site. We typically seek resources beginning with those we personally possess or to which we have direct access and then move out toward those that might take some time and effort to obtain. Resources can also be developed specifically to address disability and employment needs. When we receive resources from an employer as a component of a job, they are considered natural supports (Minor & Bates, 1997; Peterson, 1995).

When we map resources, working outward from the center of the individual resource map, (see Fig. 1.1), we may consider

a. Resources to which we have direct access and personal control of including personal finances, a personal vehicle, and bank accounts;

b. Family and friends who may provide emotional and financial support, personal care services, or companionship;

c. Community services such as parenting, disability, or alcohol support groups or acquaintances;

d. Governmental agencies or nonprofit organizations may offer rehabilitation or financial assistance programs;

e. We may need to network and seek out resources which may be unknown to us, may require a referral (or an invitation from a member), or those that may be difficult to access (i.e., eligibility-based or programs/services which are membership restricted based on established criteria and standard operating procedures).

As we move further away from the center, we have less control and influence over the resources we are seeking. Our situated experience can impact access to resources. Chapter 5, Accommodation System: Situated Experience goes into more detail regarding situated experiences.

As a job development tool, resource mapping provides a means by which we can consider interest area(s) for employment and the associated geographic locations mapping our resource needs and their availability in those locations. We must consider our home (or prospective home) and all employment contexts as centers of a job search target area keeping in mind access to the resources we need. This can facilitate a more proactive and practical job search. Identifying and planning access to necessary resources can facilitate job maintenance by reducing the number of barriers to keeping a job or minimizing their impact on job

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