Consumer Perspectives on the Usability and Value of the iBOT Wheelchair: Findings From a Case SeriesBy Arthanat, Sajay; Desmarais, Joanne M.; Eikelberg, Pam; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 7, Number 2, pages 153-167
Publication Date: February 2012
Study examined the impact of the iBOT wheelchair on current consumers by highlighting its usability in multiple contexts and verifying the value associated with its ownership. The iBOT, production of which was stopped in 2009 owing to lower than expected sales figures, is described as an innovative power mobility device that allows the user to travel over even surfaces, climb stairs and curbs, rise up to eye level while in a seated position, and traverse uneven terrain. For the study, 7 active adult consumers of the iBOT were interviewed using a mixed method approach. Participants discussed and rated the iBOT’s usability in relation to their standard power wheelchair and shared their perceived value of it. A content analysis was used to elucidate the qualitative data, whereas the quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric comparisons to compute differences in consumer ratings for the two wheelchairs. Results, although statistically non-significant, indicated the iBOT to be a highly multi-functional wheelchair with relatively superior usability in the workplace, the community, and outdoors. Participants greatly valued its capability to expand their mobility in otherwise inaccessible environments and to enhance their social participation through eye level communication. The authors conclude that the iBOT can serve as an exemplar to promote interest in, and funding for, advanced assistive technology devices for people with disabilities.
Assistive Products Discussed: IBOT MOBILITY SYSTEM
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )