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Open Access Person-Centered Technologies for Individuals with Disabilities: Empowerment Through Assistive and Rehabilitative Solutions

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Human-Centered Computing (HCC) focuses on a tight coupling of humans in the design of technologies. While HCC has advanced computing research, a new paradigm is needed to better address not only interpersonal variations but also intrapersonal variations that occur over time in order to design more useful and usable solutions for individual users. We propose Person-Centered Computing (PCC) to address users' distinct and ever-changing needs, preferences, expectations, behaviors, and abilities due to aging, geographical location, and contextual factors. There is no greater need for PCC than among individuals with disabilities, where we often find unique requirements that necessitate a person-centric approach. Through co-adaptation, PCC offers a bridge between the development of assistive and rehabilitative applications and design opportunities for the broader population. Our hope is that PCC will motivate accessible and inclusive designs for today's technologies rather than requiring individuals with disabilities to force-fit and modify existing solutions with marginal success. Here we present our PCC paradigm along with two innovative multimedia solutions, the Social Interaction Assistant and Autonomous Training Assistant, to demonstrate how the proposed design strategy not only empowers the target user groups but also impacts the broader population by revealing implicit, unseen needs.
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Keywords: ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY; MACHINE LEARNING; PERSON-CENTERED COMPUTING; PERSON-CENTEREDNESS; REHABILITATIVE TECHNOLOGY; SOCIAL INTERACTION ASSISTANT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2018

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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