Assistive technology use is associated with reduced capability poverty: a cross-sectional study in Bangladesh.

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Abstract

Purpose: About half of all people with disabilities in developing countries live in extreme poverty. Focusing on the ends rather than the economic means of human development, the capability approach offers an alternative view of poverty. The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between assistive technology use and capability poverty in a low-income country. Method: Self-reported data on food intake, health care, education, politics, self-determination, self-respect, family relationships and friendships were collected in Bangladesh through interviews of people with hearing impairments using and not using hearings aids, and people with ambulatory impairments using and not using manual wheelchairs (N = 583). Differences in outcomes between users and non-users of assistive technology were analyzed using logistic regression. Results: Assistive technology users were more likely than non-users to report enhanced capabilities, hearing aid users to a larger extent than wheelchair users. Synergistic effects between assistive technology use and education were found. Conclusion: The use of assistive technology is predictive of reduced capability poverty in Bangladesh. Lack of wheelchair accessibility and the nature of selected outcomes may explain the limited association in the ambulatory group. Enhancing the effects of the other, there is support for providing education in combination with hearing aids.

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  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-121
JournalDisability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
Volume7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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