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Experts at Center for Disability issues and the Health Professions Contribute to Medical Instrumentation Book

by Rodney Tanaka

December 12, 2006

Read 2 mins

Two experts at Western University of Health Sciences’ Center for

Disability Issues and the Health Professions were recent contributors to

a new book that addresses two of the most important yet often overlooked

aspects of medical devices, usability and accessibility.

The center’s Founding Director Brenda Premo, MBA, a champion for

disability rights, and June Isaacson Kailes, Associate Director of CDIHP

and disability policy consultant, lent their expertise to Medical

Instrumentation Accessibility and Usability Considerations by Jack M.

Winters of Marquette University and Molly Follette Story of Human

Spectrum Design, LLC, Santa Rosa.

The two joined other experts from a wide array of disciplines in helping

the authors trace a clear roadmap for improving accessibility and

usability for people with disabilities as patients and practitioners and

providing the tools necessary to follow it. CRC Press published the book

with the support of a grant received by Marquette University from the

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. It’s

available on and elsewhere.

“”I am delighted that two leading representatives of our Center for

Disability Issues and the Health Professions have had another opportunity

to present their wisdom and expertise on this important subject,”” said

Dr. Philip Pumerantz, the university’s founding president.

The text incorporated information from several projects undertaken by the

center, including The Patient’s Perspective on Access to Medical

Equipment by Isaacson Kailes, Results of a National Survey on

Accessibility of Medical Instrumentation for Consumers and Toward a New

Health Care Policy: Accessible Medical Equipment and Instrumentation by

Premo and Isaacson Kailes.

Divided into five broad sections, the book identifies access barriers,

human factors, and policy issues focused on the existing infrastructure.

Subsequent sections examine responses to the problem, beginning with

tools for usability and accessibility analysis and principles of design

for medical instrumentation, make recommendations for design guidelines,

and explore emerging trends and future technologies for improving device

usability. The final section outlines key challenges, knowledge gaps,

and recommendations from accomplished experts.

WesternU established the Center in 1998 with Premo at the helm after

serving four years as director of the California State Department of

Rehabilitation during Governor Pete Wilson’s administration. She was

deputy director of the department’s Independent Living Section from 1991

until Governor Wilson appointed her director in 1994.

While associated with the center, Isaacson Kailes has also written two

emergency preparedness guides for people with disabilities and other

activity limitations and is a frequent lecturer.


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