Do?it?yourself as a means for making assistive technology accessible to elderly people: Evidence from the ICARE project

Jun 16th, 2021 | By | Category: RSS Feed


New assistive technology (AT) is at our disposal for improving the everyday life of people in need. Yet, the current way how AT is produced and provisioned is hindering certain marginalised groups in the population, particularly elderly people, to get access to it. To expedite time-to-market, reduce costs, and increase accessibility to otherwise unattainable AT, we explore if do-it-yourself (DIY) could be a feasible and desirable alternative to commercial applications. We provide answers to the following research questions: (1) For whom does the DIY approach work in the context of assistive technology? (2) Under which circumstances do DIY work? and (3) How can researchers make DIY a satisfying experience? The evidence we collected during the “iCare” project suggests that DIY attracts both, elderly people with a need-based motive and a hedonic motive. It also shows that a participatory approach and an early engagement with potential users, their family members, and informal caregivers is beneficial for improving design and use-related aspects of the AT and the DIY intervention.


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