“Enabling Products”: Consumers With Limited Hand Functions Evaluate an Automatic Jar OpenerBy Arthanat, Sajay; Stone, Vathsala I.; Usiak, Douglas J.; Technology and Disability, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 99-115
Publication Date: 2010
Product usability study examined the experiences of consumers with hand function limitations regarding the quality and value of a commercially available automatic jar opener. Study participants were 50 individuals aged 28 to 74 years with limitations in hand functioning due to conditions including arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy, 40 of whom were female. Participants valuated the Lids-Off, a consumer product designed to mechanically open hard to open jars using a unique, motor driven gear system that grips and breaks the vacuum seal on the jar to unscrew its lid. Using questionnaires and telephone interviews, the longitudinal study assessed the usability of the Lids-Off across six weeks of home trial, its consumer acceptance at the end of the 6 month study period, and its impact on the consumer’s independence following two years of its usage. Findings from the study, which was supported by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer (T2RERC) at the University of Buffalo, included high ratings of the jar opener on aspects including usability, safety, comfort, reliability, and ease of one-handed use. Product use was consistent during the trial period, evidencing high consumer satisfaction and product acceptance. The authors conclude that the study attests to the potential benefits of involving consumers with disabilities in the development of products as a strategy to integrate inclusive design features and broaden their market value.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )