The Evolution of Assistive Technology: A Literature Review of Technology Developments and Applications

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Matteo ZallioTakumi Ohashi

Abstract: The term “Assistive Technology” (AT) has evolved over the years and identifies equipment or product systems, whether acquired, modified, or customized, that are used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Considering the advances that have been made, what trends can be identified to provide evidence of the evolution of AT as devices that foster accessibility and empower users with different abilities? Through a systematic literature review, we identify research items that offer evidence of the evolution of the meaning, purpose, and applications of AT throughout the history. This paper provides evidence that AT evolved from products to improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities toward enabling technologies that facilitate tasks for people with different needs, abilities, gender, age, and culture. This evolution will lead to a positive demystification of the meaning and applications of AT toward broader usage acceptance among mainstream users.

Keywords: Assistive Technology, Accessibility, Emerging Technology, Product Design

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001646

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