Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 327–336

Wheelchair-Bound Persons with Multiple Disabilities Learning to Use Simple Foot–Leg Responses Within a Microswitch-Based Program


    • University of Bari
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Bari
  • Nirbhay N. Singh
    • ONE Research Institute
  • Mark F. O'Reilly
    • University of Texas at Austin
  • Giorgia Piazzolla
    • Lega F. D'Oro Research Center
  • Sara Pidala
    • Lega F. D'Oro Research Center
  • Doretta Oliva
    • Lega F. D'Oro Research Center

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-005-6615-6

Cite this article as:
Lancioni, G.E., Singh, N.N., O'Reilly, M.F. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (2005) 17: 327. doi:10.1007/s10882-005-6615-6


Two wheelchair-bound adults with multiple disabilities were taught to use simple foot-leg responses to control environmental stimulation within a microswitch-based program.During the program, recording was also made of their mood (indices of happiness) and interviews were conducted with 10 health professionals on the possible benefits of the foot-leg responses.Data showed that both participants learned to use the foot-leg responses andmaintained them at high frequencies during the course of the study lasting about 3 months.They also had a substantial increase in their indices of happiness.Interview data indicated that the foot-leg responses were considered benefi-cial in terms of body awareness and muscular trophism. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Key Words

foot–leg responsesindices of happinessmicroswitchesmultiple disabilitieswheelchair-bound persons
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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005