Children and young people with disabilities, guardians, and service providers’ experiences and knowledge related to adaptive equipment

In Norwegian

Svein Bergem1, Eva K. Robertson2
1 Trøndelag Sports Federation, Trondheim; 2 Faculty of Nursing and
Health Sciences, Nord University, Bodø

In this study, we want to contribute to a deeper understanding of the (bodily) experiences and knowledge related to adaptive equipment that children/young people with disabilities, guardians, and service providers convey. We discuss how such experiences can be recognized and given room for in the established service delivery system.

The study is inspired by a (body) phenomenological approach and is based on interviews and conversations with a total of 11 children/young people, guardians and service providers. Children/young people’s bodily experience with adaptive equipment and adaptations can only be acquired by them. This knowledge can be difficult for users of adaptive equipment to make explicit and is therefore tacit.

“Face-to-face” meetings are of great importance to service providers’ performance of their services, especially among service providers who have close bodily contact with children and young people. Listening to the bodily experiences expressed by children/young people can be of great importance to the practice of service providers. With presence and a knowledgeable “look” one could be attentive and present. It should be governing and fundamental at system level (in the bureaucracy) for grants of the system for assistive technology. To fulfil statutory rights regarding user participation, various service providers must interact with the children/young people or guardians who need adaptive equipment. There must be an interaction where they make use of and share each other’s experiences and knowledge. It can be crucial for whether children and young people will receive optimal and individually adapted equipment.

Get the full-text article in Norwegian!

SVEIN BERGEM, Sports educator and Parasport advisor, The Parasport Center in Trøndelag, Ph.d. Disputed for Ph.d. in Professional Practice at Nord University in 2021. Through own research, he has experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods. He is concerned with children and young people with disabilities, their bodily experiences with physical activity/sports and the use of equipment for sports, play and leisure activities. He has many years of experience from Valnesfjord Rehabilitation Center in working with children, young people and adults with disabilities and parents in the field adapted physical activity, sports and adapted equipment.

EVA K. ROBERTSON, Professor emer., Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nord University. Supervisor for Svein Bergem’s doctoral thesis and was contact person between Nord University and Valnesfjord Rehabilitation Center 2013-2018. In her own research, she has experience with both epidemiological (quantitative within public health and the field of geology) and qualitative research (experiences of women in labor with the body, movement and migration). She has experience in supervising research fellows in body phenomenological experience-based research.

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