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What makes an assistive technology in the home invaluable or alternatively abandoned?

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A presentation from the first two(-ish) months of my PhD at the University of Sheffield. I had fifteen minutes to present this.

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What makes an assistive technology in the home invaluable or alternatively abandoned?

  1. 1. What makes an assistivetechnology in the home invaluableor alternatively abandoned?Mark Hawker1, Dr. Bridgette Wessels1 and Prof. Gail Mountain21 Department of Sociological Studies2 School of Health and Related Research
  2. 2. 2Contents•  Who am I?•  What is my PhD about?•  Where will I focus?•  How will I do it?•  Why is this important?16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  3. 3. 3Who am I?•  BSc (Hons) Informatics from the University of Leeds with an interest in personalisation and user-adaptive systems•  Teaching Development Fellow at the University of Leeds •  PGCert Health Research •  Author of “The Developer’s Guide to Social Programming”•  MA Social Research from the University of York•  I like blogging, too: © The University of Sheffield
  4. 4. 4What is my PhD about?Ways in which assistivetechnologies are:•  Introduced (appropriation)•  Learned, displayed and used (objectification)•  Accepted or rejected and talked about (incorporation/ conversion)… by users in theirhomes and everydaylives (domestication). 16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  5. 5. 5Research Objectives•  To visualise the spaces in which an assistive technology needs to be fitted into existing structures and furnishings•  To explore the social relations of the older person or disabled person•  To identify the specific daily routines of health care including considering how people cope with new assistive technologies and routines•  To explore how people learn to personalise their assistive technology.16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  6. 6. 6Assistive Technology Scope•  Community alarms •  Movement detectors•  Video-monitoring •  Dawn/dusk lights•  Health monitors •  Smoke alarms•  Fall detectors •  Fire alarms•  Hip protectors •  Cooker controls•  Pressure mats •  Electronic calendars/•  Door alerts speaking clocks16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  7. 7. 7(Assistive) Technology as Metaphor•  Black box•  Machine, organism, information processing brain•  Evolutionary•  Seamless web, actor-network, socio-technical ensemble, text•  Embodied interests, crystallised contingency•  Wild animal.16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  8. 8. 8The “Ideal” ScenarioAssistive technologies go from being“cold, lifeless, problematic andchallenging [consumer] goods” to“comfortable, useful tools … that arereliable and trustworthy”. (Berker et al., 2006: 2)16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  9. 9. 9The Social-Technical “Challenge”•  Social activity is fluid, nuanced and situated (Suchman, 1987).•  Social groups not only adapt to their technologies but they adapt their technologies to their needs (socially shaped and culturally informed and doubly-articulated).•  Technologies may be used in ways unanticipated by designers (affordance), which will change over time (interpretive flexibility and life course).16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  10. 10. 10“Mutual Intelligibility” Shared “Understanding” Person Machine Rationale Actions not Actions Effects not available available available available to the to the to the to the machine machine person person16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  11. 11. 11Inter-Disciplinarity Socio-Cultural Technical Rationale The “social” Observations Observations influenced by available to available to available to observations the social + the social + the technical = of the social researcher researcher researcher and technical (context) (meaning) researcher16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  12. 12. 12Where will I focus? ?16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  13. 13. 13How will I do it?•  Visualisation of the spaces in which an assistive technology needs to be fitted•  Interviews with people, family carers and professional health care workers to explore their experiences and the effects of assistive technologies on social relations•  Observation of daily routines including the introduction of assistive technologies and the process of domestication•  Observation of the ways in which people learn to personalise their technology including details of learning processes.16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  14. 14. 14Why is this important?•  We are living longer which is creating increased demand for health and social care services•  We want to help people retain their independence and foster participation in society rather than encouraging dependency and reliance upon statutory provision•  The potential of assistive technologies to help older people and disabled people achieve independent lives is recognised by industry with products being derived from lab-based research and user trials. However, there is an assumption that controlled user studies and technology development cycles produce usable and desirable technology that will seamlessly become integrated and embedded into everyday contexts.16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  15. 15. The Hunting of the Snark“Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried,As he landed his crew with care;Supporting each man on the top of the tideBy a finger entwined in his hair.“Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:That alone should encourage the crew.Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:What I tell you three times is true.”
  16. 16. 16 © The University of Sheffield
  17. 17. 17Bibliography•  Ackerman, M. (2000). The intellectual challenge of •  Miskelly, F. G. (2001). Assistive technology in CSCW: The gap between social requirements and elderly care. Age and Ageing, 30(6): 455-458. technical feasibility. Human-Computer Interaction, •  Pinch, T. J. and Bijker, W. E. (1984). The social 15(2): 179-203. construction of facts and artefacts: Or how the•  Berker, T., Hartmann, M., Punie, Y. and Ward, K. sociology of science and the sociology of (2006). Introduction. In T. Berker, M. Hartmann, Y. technology might benefit each other. Social Studies Punie and K. J. Ward, eds. Domestication of media of Science, 14(3), 399-441. and technology, Maidenhead: Open University •  Silverstone, R., Hirsch, E. and Morley, D. (1992). Press, pp.1-17. Information and communication technologies and•  Godfrey, M. and Johnson, O. (2009). Digital circles the moral economy of the household. In R. of support: Meeting the information needs of older Silverstone and E. Hirsch, eds. Consuming people. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(3): technologies: Media and information in domestic 633-642. spaces, London: Routledge, pp.15-31.•  McLoughlin, I. (1999). Creative technological •  Suchman, L. A. (1987). Plans and situated actions: change: The shaping of technology and The problem of human-machine communication. organisations, London: Routledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 16/11/2011 © The University of Sheffield
  18. 18. ToDiscoverAndUnderstand.