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“With a Touch of a Button”: Staff perceptions on integrating technology in an Irish service provider for people with intellectual disabilities

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Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Published online on


Background People with intellectual disabilities continue to underutilize technology, in part due to insufficient training. Because support staff professionals provide instructional support, how they perceive integrating new technologies is important for people with intellectual disabilities. Method The authors conducted a sequential mixed‐methods exploratory study (quan→QUAL) including quantitative data from online surveys completed by 46 staff members and qualitative data from five focus groups attended by 39 staff members. Results Quantitative results show strong support for diverse technologies. In contrast, qualitative results suggest that staff members’ support of technology decreases when they perceive that technology may jeopardize service users’ safety or independence. Conclusions Although staff members identified increasing independence as the main reason to use new technologies with service users, they also worried that technologies used to increase the social inclusion of service users may pose undue risk and thus may limit their embrace of technology.