Graduation Date


Document Type

Capstone Project

Project Type

Qualitative Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Program Chair

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Faculty Advisor

Laura Hess, PhD, OTR/L


Objective: The purpose of this research was to empirically examine the occupational impact of assistive technology - AT (with a specific focus on word prediction, text to speech and speech recognition) from the perspectives of the end user, family and school personnel (e.g. teachers, therapists & specialists) across various contexts (e.g. home, school, community).

Method: Qualitative data included semi-structured interviews, audio and video recordings, and records reviews. The data was coded and analyzed using a constant comparison method to identify themes pertaining to the occupational use of AT and thusly the impact to overall occupational performance.

Findings: Six themes were identified: people, match, features, context, facilitators and barriers. Each theme was central to the implementation of AT and occupational performance. We additionally found that there was a lack of occupational therapy (OT) involvement in the interdisciplinary AT team.

Discussion: AT has a positive impact on occupational performance and quality of life for the end user and family across contexts. Facilitators and barriers to AT were present within each prominent theme. We have proposed a theoretical model encapsulating how AT supports occupational performance. We further assert that there is a role for OT as an active member on the interdisciplinary AT team when considering the occupational impact of AT.


We would like to thank our capstone advisor, Dr. Laura Hess, for her continuous guidance and support throughout the completion of our capstone paper. Laura’s words of wisdom, emotional support, and challenge to delve deeper into the meaning of research, gave us a new found appreciation for our study and inspired us to be influential our research. We would like to also thank our capstone peers who helped us present and display our information effectively through potluck brunches until we saw the light of the end of the tunnel. We would also like to thank our family and friends for their patience as we attempted to finish our research. Thank you for listening to us vent about our challenges, cry through the good and the bad, and succeed. Lastly, we would like to thank all our participants and community partners for participating and contributing to the research.