Challenging “The Hands of Technology”: An Analysis of Independent Living for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Joan Moyà-Köhler, Miquel Domènech

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Technology has been holding out the promise of facilitating greater autonomy and im-proving care for people in a situation of dependency. This trend is expected to grow and this is happening precisely at a time of expansion of the so-called Independent Living paradigm. In this context, however, disability activists are generally suspicious of approaches based on being “left” in the hands of technology. They instead advocate for “subordinating hands” to their ability to decide, a principle that stands in tension with the field of intellectual disability, where individuals are perceived as intrinsically unable to make “good decisions”. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide insight into the uses and developments of technologies with regard to care and autonomy for people with intellectual disabilities. By ethnographically examining the case of a specific technology; QR (quick response) codes in the context of an independent living service, and in the frame-work of Science and Technology Studies and Disability Studies, the paper reveals the role and possibilities of care and autonomy technologies for people with intellectual disabilities. Based on these findings, and by thinking from what we could define as “within a sociotechnical assemblage”, this paper aims to rethink the ways in which technologies for independent living can be used in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1701
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Independent living
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Technology

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