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Andrich R.,Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2013

Individual assessment for assistive technology solutions (AT) is often carried out as a specialist consultation in Assistive Technology Centres (ATCs). The SIVA service of the Don Gnocchi Foundation was the ATCs pioneer in Italy: over 30 year of activity it offered about 23.000 individual consultations to clients from all over the country, and developed methodologies and protocols for provision of this service. It also established a national AT information system-first as a local database, then as a web Portal (Portale SIVA) that later was the initiator of the European Assistive Technology Information Network (EASTIN)-and various educational initiatives including a Postgraduate Course and a permanent educational programme composed of monthly Seminars. These activities helped disseminate AT knowledge to end-users, health care professionals, industrialists and policy makers; contributed to the establishment of other ATCs throughout Italy; they also led to a gradual change in the profile of clients applying for individual consultation. As time evolved, the clients' requests tended to be more focused and complex, as answers to simpler problems could be more often found in their community services, or in local ATCs, or even online through the SIVA and the EASTIN portals. This article offers a retrospective look at this thirty-years experience, which in turn is divided into three ten-years phases: the 'pioneer' age (1983-1992, in which the service gradually took shape), the 'maturity' age (1993-2002, in which the service operated as a self-standing Unit with nation-wide scope) and the 'integration' age (2003-2012, in which the service was up-taken by the clinical rehabilitation services of the Don Gnocchi Foundation). Evolutions in the clients' profiles, in the topics dealt with and in the organisational models, are discussed and correlated to the parallel evolution of the information system and the educational activities. © 2013 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. Source


Andrich R.,Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2013

As a follow-up of an International Workshop held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 21-22, 2012, a consensus process started under the leadership of AAATE (Association for Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe) and EASTIN (European Assistive Technology Information Network) that led to the production of a European Position Paper. This Paper indicates a framework for exploiting the role of assistive technology (AT) in supporting care and participation of people with disabilities and elderly people through appropriate service delivery systems (SDS). The Position Paper is organised in four chapters. The first chapter (Background) discusses the reasons why a position paper on this issue was deemed useful; it also summarises the key themes of the Copenhagen workshop and recalls the previous HEART Study of the European Commission. The second chapter (The scope of an AT SDS), discusses the concept of assistive solutions-intended as individualised interventions providing users with appropriate environmental facilitators (AT products, personalised environmental modifications, personal assistance) to overcome disability and enable participation in all aspects of life-and states the mission of a SDS-ensuring that all people with disabilities can access appropriate assistive solutions that are able to support autonomy in their life environment. The third chapter (Basic features of an AT SDS) discusses why public SDSs are needed for AT, what the main SDS models are, and how the SDSs quality can be monitored. The last chapter provides a number of useful recommendations for those who are engaged in the design, development and implementation of AT SDS policies. © 2013 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. Source


Finetti C.,CNR Institute of Chemistry of Molecular Recognition | Colombo M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Prosperi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Alessio G.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 3 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2014

We present a facile, one-pot procedure for the organic-to-water phase transfer and biofunctionalization of semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots, or QDs) which employs a synthetic functional copolymer, namely poly(DMA-NAS-MAPS), consisting of three components: a surface interacting monomer, N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA), a chemically reactive monomer, N-acryloyloxysuccinimide (NAS), and a silane monomer, [3-(methacryloyloxy)- propyl]-trimethoxysilane (MAPS). The nanocrystals were transferred to water by exploiting the amphiphilic character of the copolymer backbone. Hydrolyzed MAPS units contributed to improve the solubility of QDs in water, whereas NAS exhibited reactivity toward biomolecules. A solution of streptavidin in phosphate buffer exhibited good dispersion ability leading to a clear and transparent colloidal suspension, indicative of good QD dispersion during phase transfer and purification. Unlike most of the published methods, the proposed functionalization approach does not require coupling agents and multistep reactions. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


Andrich R.,Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2016

This paper offers some reflections on key concepts to be considered when developing policies related to assistive technology provision in the light of the UN Convention. The starting point is the Position Paper issued by AAATE and EASTIN in 2012, which defines the mission of a service delivery system (SDS) as “ensuring that all people with disabilities can access appropriate assistive solutions that are able to support autonomy in their life environment”. From the organizational viewpoint, we can identify three main SDS models: the “medical model”, the “social model” and the “consumer model”. A reasonable criterion for establishing a boundary between products that require medical models and those that don’t is that of clinical risk. The more the system moves from a medical to a social or consumer model, the more should it be based on user empowerment approaches. The GATE initiative of the World Health Organization and some national policies (such as the Australian NDIS assistive technology strategy) are firmly built upon user empowerment approaches. End-users education as well as the availability of “super partes” assistive technology information (i.e. independent of commercial interest) also plays a fundamental role in user empowerment. The paper offers a quick survey of the main information systems available today worldwide, and presents the latest achievement of today’s major information resource, the European Assistive Technology Information Network. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Source


Andrich R.,Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer | Mathiassen N.-E.,National Support System for Special Needs Education | Hoogerwerf E.-J.,AIAS Bologna Onlus | Gelderblom G.J.,Zuyd Research
Technology and Disability | Year: 2013

The purpose of this paper is to indicate a framework for exploiting the potential role of assistive technology (AT) in supporting care and participation of people with disabilities and elderly people through appropriate service delivery systems (SDS). The paper is based on the findings of the AAATE/EASTIN workshop Service Delivery Systems on Assistive Technology in Europe (held in Copenhagen on May 21-22, 2012, under the patronage of the Danish EU Presidency), on the roadmaps indicated by the previous HEART Study published in 1995 by the European Commission, and on a consensus process within the Board of the AAATE (Association for Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe) and the EASTIN Association (European Assistive Technology Information Network). The first chapter Background) discusses the reasons why a position paper on this issue was deemed useful; it also summarises the key themes of the Copenhagen workshop and recalls the HEART Study. The second chapter (The scope of an AT SDS), discusses the concept of assistive solutions-intended as individualised interventions providing users with appropriate environmental facilitators (AT products, personalised environmental modifications, personal assistance) to overcome disability and enable participation in all aspects of life-and the mission of a SDS-ensuring that all people with disabilities can access appropriate assistive solutions that are able to support autonomy in their life environment. The paper also points out that AT service delivery policies should be well coordinated with accessibility policies i.e. those related to infrastructural interventions ensuring that the mainstream environment, products and services are usable by all people, including those with reduced function or who depend on assistive technology. The third chapter (Basic features of an AT SDS) discusses why public SDS are needed for AT, what the main AT SDS models are, and how a SDS process can be described and monitored in terms of quality. The discussion is organised into answers to eight recurring questions: 1) Are assistive technology products going to disappear in the future, due to the embodiment of accessibility features in mainstream products; 2) Why shouldn't assistive technology products be dealt with as common consumer goods, purchased directly by users without the intermediation of service delivery systems; 3) Are there different approaches for AT service delivery; 4) When can a medical model, or a social model, or a consumer model be considered appropriate; 5) Independently of the model and the Country or Region, is it possible to identify common steps in the service delivery process; 6) How does each step influence the costs and the outcomes of the whole process; 7) How can the SDS process be monitored by quality indicators; and 8) How can information support the service delivery process. The last chapter (Some recommendations) provides a number of useful recommendations for those who are engaged in the design, development and implementation of AT SDS policies. The recommendations are clustered round the six SDS quality indicators suggested by the HEART Study: Accessibility, Competence, Coordination, Efficiency, Flexibility, User Influence. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source

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