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Re-conceptualizing disability and assistive technology : Australian consumers driving policy change
journal contributionposted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by Natasha Layton, Erin WilsonErin Wilson
For people living with a disability, enablers such as assistive technologies, environmental modifications and personal care can make the difference between living fully and merely existing. This article is written from the standpoints of people with disabilities and professionals in one Australian State who found their government and service system to be a constraining rather than an enabling force. It presents two key components of policy and practice change in the area of assistive technology: challenging understandings of disability, assistive technology, and the desired life outcomes that assistive technology contributes to; and building a public evidence base through consumer-focussed research. In short, government funding of assistive technology needs to move beyond a limited focus on functional needs and take responsibility for fully equipping people to live the lives they aspire to.