"Now I am a techie too" - parental perceptions of using mobile technology for communication by children with complex communication needs in the Global South.

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 2019 Feb 8:1-12. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

c Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation , Colombo , Sri Lanka.

Purpose: Parental perceptions are key to the uptake of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices for their children with complex communication needs. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of parents in a resource poor Global South country on the use of mobile technology as AAC devices.

Materials And Methods: Sixteen participants (11 female; 5 male) were included in the study. Focus group discussions, face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews were conducted with the aid of an interview guide. The interview data were analysed using the key principles of Framework analysis and through the lens of critical disability studies.

Results: Six broad themes emerged. Most participants indicated a penchant for mobile technology, though its current use with their children was mainly as a teaching tool rather than a communication device. Concerns were raised about the cost of mobile technology, which if used within communication, was only as a temporary stop-gap measure with limited knowledge. The power of mainstream technology to challenge prevalent notions of disability was also highlighted by the participants.

Conclusions: There is an openness to using mainstream mobile technology by parents with their children with complex communication needs. This use is currently reserved mainly for educational purposes while its power to challenge disability-related stereotypes is acknowledged. More parent training is required to encourage the use of mobile technology as AAC devices for communication. Implications for rehabilitation Current parent perspectives on mobile technology as AAC devices must be explored, given its potential impact on the uptake of these devices to support communication in their children with complex communication needs. Mainstream mobile technology could challenge perceptions of disability and therefore, be more acceptable to parents for their children with complex communication needs. Parental training is required to increase knowledge on the use of mobile technology as AAC devices for communication to enable informed choice-making.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2018.1554713DOI Listing
February 2019
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
Article in Educ Train Ment Retard Dev Disabil
Parette HP et al.
Educ Train Ment Retard Dev Disabil 2000

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