Rehabilitation counsellor perceived importance and competence in assistive technology

Hung Jen Kuo, John Kosciulek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Assistive technology (AT) has received much attention for its capacity to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities. While AT can be promising, the high AT abandonment issue persists. Rehabilitation counsellors are considered important in solving such an issue. However, how to effectively prepare rehabilitation counsellors to provide AT services remain unclear. This study aims to investigate the field experience of rehabilitation counsellors and identify the most relevant AT knowledge and skills to the profession. Method: A survey that explores rehabilitation counsellors perceived AT importance and competence was used. A total of 237 rehabilitation counsellors in the United States were recruited via the email listserv provided by Commission on Rehabilitation Counsellor Certification. Results: The results indicated that while rehabilitation counsellors considered AT important to them, they felt ill-prepared in providing such services. Of the three subscales, the ability to use AT was rated with the highest importance and the knowledge of AT was rated with the lowest competence. Conclusion: Although it is impossible for rehabilitation counsellors to know every aspect of the AT services, five training areas were identified to be a priority. Specifically, these five areas include training to improve rehabilitation counsellors’ (a) awareness of AT benefit, (b) knowledge and skill of AT assessment, (c) knowledge of computer based AT and the use of social media, (d) skill in using AT to increase service accessibility, and (e) ability to assist clients decision making that addresses both physical and psychological needs.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION •Confirm the importance of AT in rehabilitation counselling practices. •Recognise the limited AT competence amongst rehabilitation counsellors. •Identify five areas for more AT training that improve rehabilitation counsellors’ •Awareness of AT benefit, •Knowledge and skill of AT assessment, •Knowledge of computer based AT and the use of social media, •Skill in using AT to increase service accessibility, and •Ability to assist clients decision making that addresses both physical and psychological needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1265
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Assistive technology
  • abandonment
  • accommodation
  • education
  • rehabilitation counsellor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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