Level of electronic assistive technology use by people with intellectual disabilities is lower than for other disability groups.
In this mixed-methods exploratory study during the pandemic, staff (online survey) and executive administration (focus group) from a regional supported employment service provider in the Midwest US were surveyed about use of and barriers to use of electronic assistive technology for their clients with intellectual disabilities.
Forty percent of staff reported ‘not’ using any of the assistive technologies with their clients. Executive administration perceived that they should be providing technology resources to clients and staff. Both groups rated expense, access, and complexity as barriers to assistive technology use at the client’s worksite.
Identifying the types of assistive technologies that can be most easily accessed and most cost-effective, including lower-cost consumer market devices, as employment supports for people with intellectual disabilities may be a first step in helping to overcome perceived barriers to use.