How can assistive technologies for accessing computers help people with spinal cord injuries?




Spinal cord injury; Assistive technology; Autonomy; Bioethics.


Objective: to analyze the perception of people with quadriplegia due to spinal cord injury about the influence of the use of assistive technology (AT) resources to access computers in their daily lives. Method: Qualitative approach, the Grounded Theory. Twenty-seven semistructured interviews were performed with individuals with quadriplegia assisted in the SARAH of Rehabilitation Hospitals of Brasília. The data were analyzed with ATLAS.ti software. Results: AT for access to computers makes it possible to reduce vulnerability and expand the autonomy of people with severe spinal cord injury, in different perspectives, as well as their social and work reintegration. Conclusion: that it is necessary to include in the care services people with severe spinal cord injury, the possibility of using AT, from the beginning of treatment, with proper monitoring of qualified professionals to guide their use. Therefore, these people's right of access to AT should be recognized in order to improve their quality of life and achieve human dignity. It becomes an ethical imperative to guarantee these people's access to AT resources, through the expansion of intersectorial public policies, which cannot be separated from other efforts undertaken by the government to improve the social life of these citizens.

Author Biography

Valeria Baldassin, Associação das Pioneiras Sociais

Associação das Pioneiras Sociais: Brasília, DF,BR.


Andrade, V. S., Faleiros, F., Balestrero, L. M., Romeiro, V., & Santos, C. B. (2019). Participação social e autonomia pessoal de indivíduos com lesão medular. Rev Bras Enferm, 72(1), 250-7.

Bailey, K. A., Gammage, K. L., Van Ingen C., & Ditor D. S. (2016). Managing the stigma: Exploring body image experiences and self-presentation among people with spinal cord injury. Health Psychol.Open, 3(1):1-10. 10.1177/2055102916650094

Balsdassin, V., Lorenzo, C. Shimizu, H. E. (2018). Tecnologia assistiva e qualidade de vida na tetraplegia: abordagem bioética. Rev. Bioét, 26 (4), 574-86.

Barbosa, A. (2016). Mobilidade urbana para pessoas com deficiência no Brasil: um estudo em blogs. Rev Bras Gest Urbana, 8(1),142–54.

Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2013). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. (7th ed.), Oxford University Press.

Burlá, C., Pessini, L., Siqueira, J. E., & Nunes, R. Envelhecimento e doença de Alzheimer: reflexões sobre autonomia e o desafio do cuidado. (2014). Rev Bioética, 2014,22(1),85–93.

Charmaz K. (2009). A construção da teoria fundamentada. Guia Prático para análise qualitativa. Editora Artmed.

Decreto nº 10.645, de 11 de março de 2021. Regulamenta o art. 75 da lei nº 13.146, de 6 julho de 2015, para dispor sobre as diretrizes, os objetivos e os eixos do plano nacional de tecnologia assistiva. Diário Oficial da União. Brasília, DF.

Fabrin, A. C. B., Nascimento, P. G. do, & Fantacini, R. A. F. (2016). Assistive technology: alternative communication for students with cerebral paralysis. Research, Society and Development, 2(2), 136-150.

Folan, A., Barclay, L., Cooper, C., & Robinson, M. (2015). Exploring the experience of clients with tetraplegia utilizing assistive technology for computer access. Disabil Rehabil Assist, 10(1), 46–52.

Geard, A., Kirkevold, M., Løvstad, M., & Schanke, A.K. (2018). Exploring narratives of resilience among seven males living with spinal cord injury: a qualitative study. BMC Psychol, 6(1), 1. 10.1186/s40359-017-0211-2.

Gómara-Toldrà, N., Sliwinski, M., & Dijkers, M.P. (2014). Physical therapy after spinal cord injury: a systematic review of treatments focused on participation. J Spinal Cord Med, 37(4), 371–9.

Habermas J. (2003). L’éthique de la discussion et la question de la verité. Gasset.

Lee, B.B., Cripps, R.A., Fitzharris, M., Wing, P.C. (2014). The global map for traumatic spinal cord injury epidemiology: update 2011, global incidence rate. Spinal Cord, 52(2), 110–6. 10.1038/sc.2012.158.

Litooij, E., Widdershoven, G. A. M, Stolwijk-Swüste, J. M., Doodeman, S. Leget, C. J., & Dekker J. (2016). Global meaning in people with spinal cord injury: Content and changes. J Spinal Cord Med, 39(2), 197-205. doi:10.1179/2045772314Y.0000000290

Oviedo, R. A. M., & Czeresnia, D. (2015). O conceito de vulnerabilidade e seu caráter biossocial. Interface - Comun Saúde, Educ, 19(53), 237–50.

Parimbelli, E., Pistarini, C., Fizzotti, G., Rognoni, C., Olivieri, G., & Quaglini, S. (2017). Computer-Assessed Preference-Based Quality of Life in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury. Biomed Res Int. Article ID 4543610. 10.1155/2017/4543610.

Pruettikomon, S., & Louhapensang, C. (2018). A Study and Development of Workplace Facilities and Working Environment to Increase the Work Efficiency of Persons with Disabilities: A Case Study of Major Retail and Wholesale Companies in Bangkok. The Scientific World Journal, Article ID3142010. 10.1155/2018/3142010

Rezende, L. S., Lima, M. B. & Salvador, E. P. (2018). Interventions for Promoting Physical Activity Among Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review. J Phys Act Health, 15(12), 954-59. 10.1123/jpah.2018-0034

Seoane, J. A. (2010). Las autonomías del paciente. Dilemata, 3:61–75.

Schwartz, C. E., Stucky, B., Rivers, C. S., Noonan, V. K., Finkelstein, J. A. & RHSCIR Network. (2018). Quality of life and adaptation in people with spinal cord injury: response rhift effects from 1 to 5 years postinjury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 99(8),1599-1608. 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.01.028. PMID: 29481771.

Silva, H. F. da., Silva, J. F. da., Cruz, V. V., Figueiredo, N. M. A. de., Sé, A. C. S., & Machado, W. C. A. (2021). Applicability of Assistive Technology for people with spinal cord injury: An integrative review. Research, Society and Development, 10(8), e0210815387.

Tederko, P., Krasuski, T., Krasuski, M., Długołęcka, A., & Tarnacka, B. (2017). Determinants of health knowledge and health perceptions from the perspective of health-related education of patients with spinal cord injury: a systematic review. Int J Rehabil Res., 40(2), 97-106. 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000215.

United Nations. (2011). Disability and the Millennium Development Goals.

Unesco. (2005). Declaração Universal Sobre Bioética e Direitos Humanos. Tradução: Cátedra Unesco de Bioética da Universidade de Brasília. Disponível em



How to Cite

BALDASSIN, V. .; SHIMIZU, H. E. . How can assistive technologies for accessing computers help people with spinal cord injuries?. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 2, p. e9711219793, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i2.19793. Disponível em: Acesso em: 1 mar. 2024.



Health Sciences