Need- and Task-Based Design and Evaluation

  • Albert M. Cook
  • Jan Miller Polgar
  • Nigel J. Livingston


Unfortunately, device abandonment (by clients or caregivers) is a pervasive problem in the provision of assistive technology. This is not necessarily the result of poor design of the technology, but rather a failure to account for other factors or determinants. This issue can be successfully addressed by employing the human activity assistive technology (HAAT) model when considering potential solutions for clients. The model conceptualizes the consumer, their activities, environment, and assistive technology as an integrated system in which changing one element affects all other elements in the system. The model can be applied in the design, selection, and evaluation of technology for use by an individual, or as a conceptual model for exploring the influence of assistive technology on participation in daily activities. In this chapter, examples and explanations are given for both “successful” and “failed” technologies with specific reference to the HAAT model.


Cerebral Palsy Assistive Technology Angelman Syndrome Human Element Pervasive Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert M. Cook
    • 1
  • Jan Miller Polgar
    • 2
  • Nigel J. Livingston
    • 3
  1. 1.Audiology and Speech Pathology, Faculty of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of AlbertaAlbertaCanada
  2. 2.School of Occupational TherapyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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