Ongoing projects and future ideas
ADEL—Assistive Devices in Everyday Life
One central idea of my thesis was the view of assistive devices as not only activity specific, but also as important features in the presentation of self and the externalisation of ideas and attitudes of the user. A theoretical article developing these ideas has been accepted, further deepening the theoretical understanding of the ascribed meaning of assistive devices from a utilisation perspective, and the system of demands emanating from a given user towards an assistive device. Creation of meaning associated with use or non-use of technology, and its place in a social understanding of the everyday life of persons with disabilities, are central perspectives.
One perspective include the limits of normality, and the deviator (in a broad sense, here the person using or not using an assistive device) as a necessary point of reference in the process of defining normality. In a further perspective, the person with the disability can be understood as a marginal man; interactants as caught in the stickiness of the disabled/deviant as necessary for the definition of self.
First article accepted for publication: Krantz, O. (2012) Assistive devices utilisation in activities of everyday life – a proposed framework of understanding a user perspective. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology (accepted for publication). Currently, these ideas are being developed as a part of a larger framework under the preliminary name of ADEL—Assistive Devices in Everyday Life.
Aesthetic passive hand prostheses
One aspect of upper limb prosthetics rarely included in previous research is user needs and motivations concerning the usability and useworthiness of cosmetic aesthetic passive hand prostheses. First of all, I have yet failed to locate any clear definition or term used when addressing cosmetic aesthetic passive hand prostheses. Thus, a primary task can be to propose such a definition and a term covering the phenomenon. Obviously, cosmetic and aesthetic can both be seen as addressing the anthropomorphic shape, as well as the so called life-like impression, whereas passive implies the lack of movement, active or passive, of the prosthetic hand. However, research does propose the possibility of making active use of a passive prosthesis, hence disarming the term one of its carrying elements. Nevertheless, the absence of user-controlled possibilities to alter the shape of the passive prosthetic hand (without using the other hand), for instance in order to grip an object, can bee seen as supporting the continued use of the term “passive” when addressing such a hand per se, i.e. making active use of a passive device.
The first step in this project is a review article addressing research focusing aesthetic hand prostheses. Further steps include a deeper analysis of the phenomenon of so called cosmetic or aesthetic prostheses, and their function in the life of persons using, or not using, them. Here, a wider connection with the ADEL theoretical perspective may gain further developments.
Literature review in progress.
A project together with Dr. Kristofer Hansson was launched in 2009. The project concerns adolescents with mobility disabilities and their personal relations to critical places, i.e. places where one wants to be and interact, but where the physical environment renders partaking difficult/impossible.
Reported in the journal of the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology - SIAT.
Other projects and ideas
A project being prepared is a book together with Maria Gardsäter from the Swedish Dysmelia Association concerning aspects of growing up with dysmelia. The first phase of fund-seeking is currently under preparation.
Future ideas include, but are not limited to, further research in the field of assistive devices, more specifically the history and development of technology for persons with disabilities. This can include a practice based perspective using the abovementioned ADEL project concerning social meaning of assistive devices. One idea includes a book concerning the Swedish active wheelchair history from the 1970s and onwards.