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Assistive Technologies: Social Barriers and Socio-Technical Pathways

Nierling, Linda; Maia, Maria ORCID iD icon


Against the background of recent international regulation, the role of assistive technologies in the fields of independent living, education, and employment is analyzed in this article to propose a future strategy for a socio-technical perspective on their further development processes. Based on qualitative expert interviews at the European level, the role and scope of ATs in these fields are described for three types of disabilities: visual impairment, hearing impairment, and autism spectrum disorder. The findings show that digitalization processes entail major opportunities and challenges for ATs in all three fields and that further measures are needed to bring technical opportunities to their full potential in adverse social contexts. Regarding future technology development, the authors propose a development strategy focusing strongly on the social context of the devices. Only in this manner, relevant “unintended consequences”, as well as social or ethical concerns, can be identified and addressed.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000120299
Veröffentlicht am 22.06.2020
DOI: 10.3390/soc10020041
Zitationen: 12
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2020
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2075-4698
KITopen-ID: 1000120299
HGF-Programm 48.01.01 (POF III, LK 01) Innovation Processes+impacts of Technol.
Erschienen in Societies
Verlag MDPI
Band 10
Heft 2
Seiten Article: 41
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
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