Barriers to Mobility Device Access: Implications for Policies and Practices of Assistive Technology Reutilization Programs

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Abstract

This report summarizes the findings of a study used to identify barriers people in Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding metropolitan area encounter when seeking new mobility devices. A convenience sample of 49 volunteers requesting equipment and services from an assistive technology reuse program was surveyed. Structured interviews were conducted with each subject or family/caregiver to (1) identify reasons for approaching assistive technology reuse programs for mobility devices, (2) identify barriers to mobility device access through traditional third party payer benefits, (3) identify barriers to acquiring mobility devices, and (4) identify barriers to acquiring mobility-related clinical services. Respondents were asked about personal characteristics, including disability, current technology, devices and/or services sought, and functional impact of unmet need(s). The results were used to identify common policy and process barriers consumers/families encounter and to identify opportunities for education and outreach for consumers and referring medical professionals.

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