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R1. Needs Assessment and Technology Use

Principal Investigator: 
Wendy Rogers, Ph.D.
Lyndsie Koon, Ph.D., Tracy Mitzner, Ph.D., Brian Pastor, M.S., Elena Remillard, M.S., Shraddha Shende B.S., & Jenny Singleton, Ph.D.,
Megan Bayles, B.S., Rebecca Goneh, Saahithya Gowrishankar, Maurita Harris, M.S., Lisa Le, Jenny Lee, Tina Nie, M.S., Widya Ramadhani, Ahmad Rathor, Arijana Sovsic
Project Alumni: 
Laura Barg-Walkow, Ph.D., Alyse Bondarowicz, B.S., Christina Harrington, Ph.D., Maurita Harris, B.S., Jordan Hartley, MPH, Rob Kistenberg, M.S., Christopher Kovac, B.S., Kimberly Preusse, M.S., Emily Spoolstra, Rachel Stuck, Ph.D., & Amy Wing-Lam Chong, M.S.
AGE-WELL Canada; Anthem; Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA); Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) Atlanta; Deaf Seniors of America; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; OSF Healthcare; Post-Polio Health International
From assistive technologies (e.g., wheelchairs, screen readers) to emerging new technologies, such as smart phones applications, and voice-activated assistants (e.g., Amazon Alexa), technology holds great potential to support the health, wellness, and independence of people long-term disabilities so they can age-in-place in their home and community of choice. For these types of technologies to be effective in supporting aging-in-place, researchers and designers must understand the needs of the people who will use them. Building upon previous research, we are continuing efforts to understand activity challenges in-depth among older adults with long-term vision, hearing, and mobility disabilities. We are expanding participatory research studies, including interviews and surveys, to identify critical technology needs among a larger and more diverse sample of people. This project will provide the groundwork to drive new research and guide the design of new smart technologies, including those being developed in other TechSAge projects.

    Woman uses videoconferencing to chat with deaf parents on computer using sign language        Woman uses high-powered magnifier to read buttons on stove


Project Status: 
  • We are continuing to analyze data from population-based datasets, including the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), to use as a benchmark for our qualitative user needs findings.
  • The second version of the TechSAge Minimum Battery is now complete. This self-report questionnaire is a compilation of aging and disability measures designed to capture key characteristics about individuals aging with long-term disabilities (e.g., demographics, health, vision/hearing/mobility functional abilities, falls, daily living activities, technology use). This assessment will be used in TechSAge research studies in the coming months.
  • We are finalizing materials for 2 phase of the Aging Concerns, Challenges, and Everyday Solution Strategies (ACCESS) study. We will be focusing on new target populations with long-term disabilities, inlcuding: Multiple sclerosis, Late deafened, and vision impairment due to Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma. We expect to begin data collection in 2021.
  • We developed two TechSAge Tools to support other R&D projects, including: “Design Iteration Tracking” and “Heuristic Analysis”.
Select Publications: 

Koon, L.M., Remillard, E. T., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (In press).  Aging Concerns, Challenges, and Everyday Solution Strategies (ACCESS) for adults aging with a long-term mobility disability. Disability & Health Journal.  


Remillard, E. T., Griffiths, P. C., Mitzner, T. L., Sanford, J. A., Jones, B. D., & Rogers, W. A. (2020). The TechSAge Minimum Battery: A Multidimensional and Holistic Assessment of Individuals Aging with Long-Term Disabilities. Disability and Health Journal, 13(3). 

Bixter, M., Blocker, K., Prakash, A. Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2019).  Understanding the use and non-use of social communication technologies by older adults: A qualitative test and extension of the UTAUT model.  Gerontechnology, 18, 70-88.

Singleton, J. L., Remillard, E. T., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2019). Everyday technology use among older deaf adults. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 14(4), 325-332.

Remillard, E. T., Mitzner, T L., Singleton, J. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2018). A qualitative approach to understanding user needs for aging with disability. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Universal Accessibility in the Internet of Things and Smart Environments (SMART ACCESSIBILITY 2018), 18-22. 978-1-61208-622-4  

Preusse, K. C., Gonzalez, E. T., Singleton, J. L., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2016). Understanding The Needs of Individuals Aging with Impairment. International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 4(2), 144-168. 10.1504/IJHFE.2016.082246

Harrington, C. N., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2015). Understanding the role of technology for meeting the support needs of older adults in the USA with functional limitations. Gerontechnology, 14, 21-31. 10.4017/gt.2015.