ASSESSMENT PROCESS
 
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Matching Person and Technology (MPT) Assessment Process

Continued advances in technologies have created a wide range of options in technology functions and features. As a result, consumers and providers often report feeling overwhelmed and confused when faced with decisions regarding device selection and use. In response to this, and in hopes of providing a more personal approach to matching individuals with the most appropriate technologies for their use, the Matching Person and Technology (MPT) assessment process was developed. 

The MPT process contains a series of instruments (self-report checklists about consumer predispositions to and outcomes of technology use) which take into account

  • the environments in which the person uses the technology,
  • the individual's characteristics and preferences, and
  • the technology's functions and features.

Characteristics within these three components can each contribute either a positive or a negative influence on technology use. If there are too many negative influences, the chance of the technology being successfully used is greatly reduced. In fact, the technology itself can appear perfect for a given need, but if the user does not possess the appropriate personal characteristics or does not receive needed support, that perfect technology may go unused or be used inappropriately.

The MPT process contains a series of instruments:

  • For persons considering any kind of technology, but believe there may be a general reluctance to use technology, the Survey of Technology Use (SOTU) helps identify technologies an individual feels comfortable or successful in using so that a new technology can be built around existing comfort or success.
  • Technology-specific forms are:

  • 1. The Assistive Technology Device Predisposition Assessment (ATD PA) to help people select assistive technologies.
    2. The Educational Technology Predisposition Assessment (ET PA) to help students use technology reach certain educational goals.
    3. The Workplace Technology Predisposition Assessment (WT PA) for employers, vocational counselors, etc. who introduce new technologies into the workplace and who train persons in their use.
    4. The Health Care Technology Predisposition Assessment (HCT PA) for health care providers who recommend or prescribe technologies for health maintenance, pain relief, and so on.
Each instrument is actually a pair of instruments -- one designed for the provider of technologies (counselor, therapist, teacher, employer, trainer, etc.) and the other designed for the technology user (client, student, employee). Each instrument is quick, easy and self-explanatory. They were developed from the experiences of technology users and non-users through participatory action research to ensure providers and users work together to achieve the following goals:

1.     User goals and preferences drive the MPT process,
2.     The degree of match between user and provider perspectives is assessed,
3.     Providers are guided into considering all relevant influences on the use of a technology
        while focusing on the user's quality of life,
4.     Mismatches between a proposed technology and a potential user are identified in time
        to reduce inappropriate use or non-use and eliminate the accompanying disappointment
        and frustration,
5.     The most appropriate technology is selected when there is a choice of several, and
6.     Appropriate training strategies are identified for an individual's optimal use of a technology.

Options in technologies will continue to increase. Therefore, the constellation of factors that serve to influence individuals' predispositions to the use of particular technologies must be understood so that the most appropriate technologies can be provided and the most appropriate training strategies can be designed. The MPT process and accompanying instruments are a step in that direction. As consumer-directed technology evaluation and selection advances, MPT users will find that they a) provide consumer identification of potential obstacles to optimal technology use, and b) give information about a variety of influences on predispositions to and outcomes of technology use.
 

Using the MPT Assessment Instruments
Steps and Sample Items from Several Forms

 

For optimal use of the MPT assessments and process, these initial steps should be followed:

Step One: Use the form entitled Worksheet for the Matching Person and Technology (MPT) Model to determine which technologies are potentially useful for the individual. First, write down initial goals that you and the user have established together; include possible alternative goals. Second, determine interventions supportive of these goals and write them in the space provided on the form. Third, determine any technologies needed to support the attainment of the goals. Sample items from this form (approximately 50%) are below.

Step Two: Use the form entitled Technology Utilization Worksheet for the Matching Person and Technology (MPT) Model to identify technologies used, desired, and needed. Sample items for this form are not included here.

Step Three: Select the appropriate MPT instrument(s). Samples items from the following forms (approximately one third of the forms) are included here.

A. Survey of Technology Use - Consumer Form (Companion provider form not included here).
B. Assistive Technology Device Predisposition Assessment - Consumer Form (Companion provider form not included here).
C. Educational Technology Predisposition Assessment - Student Form (Companion teacher form not included here).
General Procedures for Using the
MPT Assessment Instruments

All of the instruments in the MPT process (except the Health Care Technology Predisposition Assessment) have two versions: a provider version and a user version. The two versions are meant to be used together in order to identify characteristics of the milieu/environment, person, or technology that could lead to inappropriate use, or even nonuse, of the technology.

The MPT Model/Process is user-driven and person-centered. To gain the most benefit from the MPT instruments, the procedures listed below should be followed:

1. Ask the user (client, student or employee) to complete his or her version of the appropriate form focusing on current feelings and attitudes. [Instead, the user form may serve as a guide for an oral interview, if that seems more appropriate for the situation.]

2. Complete the provider version of the instrument and identify any discrepancies between your version and the user version. Also identify factors that may hinder the user's acceptance or use of the technology. Questions requiring information that you do not currently have should be left blank with a notation to obtain that information later.

3. Discuss with the user those factors that may indicate problems with his or her acceptance or appropriate use of the technology.

4. After you have noted the problem areas, work with the user to identify specific intervention strategies and devise an action plan to address the problems and to describe proposed interventions.

5. Commit to writing the strategies and action plans, for experience has shown that plans that are merely verbalized are not implemented as frequently as written plans. Written plans also serve as documentation and can provide the justification for any subsequent actions such as requests for funding or release time for training, etc.

NOTE: The MPT assessments are designed to inform, not to replace professional judgment. They are tools whose purpose is to indicate areas in need of further assessment and intervention, their overarching assumptions being that (a) each match of person and technology is unique and requires individual attention, and (b) technologies are means for achieving goals, not ends in themselves. In studies comparing known technology users to nonusers, the instruments have successfully differentiated the two groups. This only means the instruments have validity for identifying potential obstacles to the optimal use of a technology.
 
Sample Items (less than half of the items) from
WORKSHEET FOR THE MATCHING PERSON & TECHNOLOGY (MPT) MODEL

In which of the following does the individual experience a limitation (check all that apply)? For each limitation, indicate goals as well as potentially desirable technologies, environmental accommodations, and other interventions for this person.

 Limitations                                                                         Goals and Desirable
                                                                                             Interventions

___ Communication. Write the specific limitation noted:          Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:

___ Mobility.Write the specific limitation noted:                       Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:

___ Vision. Write the specific limitation noted:                         Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:

___ Hearing. Write the specific limitation noted:                       Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:

___ Reading/writing. Write the specific limitation noted:           Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:

___ Household activities. Write the specific limitation noted:    Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:

___ Health maintenance. Write the specific limitation noted:     Goals:
 
                                                                                              Interventions:
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Sample Items (less than half of the items) from
SURVEY OF TECHNOLOGY USE (SOTU) - CONSUMER FORM

 

Name:                                                                                       Date:

1. TECHNOLOGIES YOU FREQUENTLY USE:

List the technologies that you use most frequently (for example, personal computer, VCR, bank ATM, CD player, etc.)

1. ____________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________
8. ____________________________________________________________
9. ____________________________________________________________
 
 
2. OVERALL EXPERIENCES WITH CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES USED:

                                            Generally                         Generally
                                                Feel         Neutral         Feel
 They are satisfying                                                                   They are frustrating
 They help my creativity                                                            They interfere with my creativity
 They bring me together with people                                          They separate me from people
 

3. PERSPECTIVES ON TECHNOLOGIES:

                                                                    Feel                                  Feel
                                                                    Positive                             Negative
                                                                    About           Neutral         About

My childhood technology experiences
My most recent technology experiences

                                             Generally                              Generally
                                                 Feel             Neutral             Feel

 I am comfortable with technology                                       I am intimidated by technology
 I feel good around technology                                            I feel anxious around technology
 

5. SOME OF YOUR PERSONAL/SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS:

                                             Generally                              Generally
                                                 Feel             Neutral             Feel
 Composed/calm                                                                              Anxious
 Happy                                                                                             Depressed
 Expressive/outgoing                                                                         Quiet/withdrawn
 Patient                                                                                              Impatient
 Motivated                                                                                        Unmotivated
 Persevering                                                                                      Easily discouraged

 I want to order this assessment form
 

Sample Items (less than half of the items) from
The Assistive Technology Device Predisposition Assessment - C

 

Name                                                                                                               Date of Birth
Desired Outcome(s)                                                                                          Today's Date

(Side One Sample Questions Completed Pre- and Post-Intervention and Per Person)

1. How are your current capabilities in the following areas? Circle the best response for each:
                                                                              Poor  Average  Good
a. Vision                                                                  1     2     3     4     5
c. Speech                                                                1     2     3     4     5
d. Upper extremity control                                        1     2     3     4     5
f. Mobility                                                                1     2     3     4     5
g. Dexterity                                                             1     2     3     4     5
i. Physical strength/stamina                                       1     2     3     4     5

Put a [-] beside any of the above that you believe are or will be deteriorating over time.
Then put a [+] beside any you believe are or will be improving over time.

2. How satisfied are you with what you have achieved in the following areas? Circle the best response for each.
 
                                                            Not                      Very
                                                         Satisfied  Satisfied  Satisfied
a. Independent living skills                        1     2     3     4     5
c. Communication skills                            1     2     3     4     5
d. Physical comfort & well-being                1     2     3     4     5
e. Overall health                                      1     2     3     4     5
g. Ability to go where desired                   1     2     3     4     5
i. Emotional well-being                             1     2     3     4     5

Put a [+] beside the one(s) you most want to see improve over time.

4. Please check all the statements below that describe you.
__ need more privacy                                     __ discouraged
__ do what therapist(s) recommend                 __ prefer to be left alone
__ satisfied with present situation                     __ receive emotional support from others
__ want more independence                            __ receive physical support from others
__ have made friends with therapists                __often angry
__ believe the general public accepts the child  __often depressed

(Side Two Sample Questions: Completed for Each Device)
                                                                                                           not
                                                                                                         at all                   a lot
3.How much do you believe you will benefit from using this device?       1    2    3    4    5
 
5.How much will this AT require changes in your accustomed routine?   1    2    3    4    5

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Sample Items (less than half of the items) from
EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PREDISPOSITION ASSESSMENT-S

 

Student's Name:
Technology:
Educational Goal:

GOAL
                                                                           no        somewhat        yes
Do you understand the goal written above?            1      2      3       4      5
Do you feel you can achieve this goal?                    1      2      3       4      5

                                                                            not
                                                                            much    somewhat       a lot
How much do you want to achieve this goal?           1      2      3      4       5

MILIEU

Do you prefer to learn from listening to a teacher's lecture or by reading a textbook?
Do you prefer to watch a demonstration or to experiment on your own?

TECHNOLOGY
                                                                                                            no        maybe        yes
Have you ever experienced this type of technology or this method?         1     2     3      4      5
Have you observed others using this technology/method?                      1     2     3      4      5

THE PERSON

Circle all the statements below that describe you.

I am curious & excited about       I often want to work               I sometimes feel intimidated by
new things                                   slower than others                   technology

I am impatient                             I like to try new things              I am often easily distracted

I want to control my own            I am usually flexible/                 I prefer to work in a group
learning pace                              adaptable                                 than by myself

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Matching Assistive Technology & CHild (MATCH)

 

In hopes of providing a more personal approach to matching children with the most appropriate technologies for their use, the Matching Assistive Technology and CHild or MATCH assessment process has been developed.  The MATCH process consists of a progression of instruments designed for AT evaluators, technology providers, IFSP and IEP teams, AT service coordinators, therapists, and parents concerned about achieving the most appropriate match of a child with an assistive technology.  Each of the instruments is meant to be completed by the child/parent and evaluator in partnership so that dialogue occurs around options, expectations, and concerns and to:

  •     choose the most appropriate technology when there is a choice of several;
  •     decide if a technology is the most appropriate choice given the characteristics of the person, tech & environment;
  •     decide on the most appropriate training strategies to ensure optimal use of a technology.
Each of the instruments is quick, easy and self-explanatory and no specific scoring system need be used for most practical applications.  It is believed that careful completion of each instrument item and observation of the balance of positive to negative responses will often give the provider sufficient insight to determine the quality of the match of a person and a technology.
 
 
Sample Items (less than half of the items) from
Matching Assistive Technology & CHild (MATCH)

A. How satisfied are you with this child’s skills and development in the following areas?

    Hearing
    Sleep/wake patterns
    Grasping and holding
    Understanding communication
    Expressing communication
    Physical strength/stamina
    Physical comfort & well-being
    Social & play skills
    Pre-academic development (size, shape, color)
    Rate of learning
    Emotional well-being (tolerates changes, temper)
    Overall development
Put a [+] beside any you believe are or will be improving over time.  Then put a [-] beside any of the above you believe are or will be lessening over time.
Finally, put a number  beside the ones you most want to see improve over time in terms of their importance to you (#1 in importance, #2 in importance, etc.) .

B.  Please check all the statements below that characterize this family.

    1. services well-integrated into family routines
    2. want more privacy
    3. frequently discouraged
    4. satisfied with current service plan, IFSP/IEP
    5. receive help and support from others
    6. often  overwhelmed
C.  Comparing up to Three Devices to Meet Desired Outcomes
    1. Does the device fit in all desired environments (car, living room, bathing area, etc.)?
    2. How much will this device help this child achieve the desired outcomes written above?
    3. How much does the child like the device?
    4. Does this device require cognitive training or physical adaptation in order to fit with this child’s accustomed routine?
    5. Does the user have the capabilities and stamina to use the device without discomfort, stress and fatigue?
    6. Can the device be adapted to accommodate changes in the user?
    7. How easily can this device be integrated into the child’s school environment?
     
    I want to order this assessment form

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