Dissertation Proposal Defense: Erin Beneteau
Join Erin Beneteau for her dissertation proposal defense on Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. in Allen Auditorium or online at https://washington.zoom.us/j/712739544.
Title: Effects of Creative Engagement on Adults with Acquired Disabilities who use Assistive Technologies
Over 1 million people worldwide are estimated to have severe physical disabilities combined with communication disabilities. Many of these individuals have limited opportunities for active community engagement and participation, which can result in poor mental and physical health. As a result, overall quality of life can be significantly diminished, especially for typically functioning adults who develop significant physical and communication disabilities later in life. While research has shown that access to creative engagement has positive impacts on typically aging older adults and adults with chronic health conditions, little is known about how creative engagement impacts adults who acquired severe disabilities, particularly those who use assistive technologies for daily living.
My research aims to determine how access to creative pursuits (such as art creation, music creation, or gaming in a virtual environment) can affect community living and participation, health, and overall quality of life for adults who use assistive technologies. Specifically, my research has four objectives: (1) determine how creative engagement currently impacts adults who have acquired disabilities and who use assistive technologies for daily living, (2) design and assess an accessible, informational resource about creative pursuits available to individuals who use assistive technologies, (3) determine how the introduction of accessible creative pursuits affects the community participation, health, identity, communication, and quality of life of adults who acquired disabilities and who use assistive technologies, and (4) create designs for future creative technologies which are accessible to people who use assistive technologies.
Overall, a total of 12-20 participants will be involved across the four research objectives. Using semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, online focus groups and sensor data, I will use an inductive, iterative process of constant-comparison of the data to analyze the data and generate themes.
This original research is anticipated to result in a number of outcomes that will positively impact people with disabilities. First, the creation of a framework to understand the impact creative pursuits have on the community participation, health, communication, and quality of life of adults who have acquired disabilities and who use assistive technologies. Second, adults who use assistive technologies will be able to access and learn about accessible creative pursuits through a prototype resource developed as a result of this research. Third, technology designers will have guidelines to improve the accessibility of digital creative tools, created using a co-design process with assistive technology users. Finally, the findings from my research will provide baseline data for future research on the impacts of creative pursuits for other populations, such as children who use assistive technologies.
- Wanda Pratt (chair)
- Alexis Hiniker
- Heather Feldner (Rehabilitation Medicine)
- Kathryn Yorkston (Rehabilitation Medicine)
- Audrey Desjardins (GSR, Art, Art History and Design)