R1 Needs Assessment & Technology Use

Principal Investigator

Wendy Rogers, Ph.D.


Kara Cohen, B.S/B.A, Lyndsie Koon, Ph.D., Tracy Mitzner, Ph.D., Elena Remillard, M.S., Shraddha Shende B.S., & Jenny Singleton, Ph.D.


Renee Alnoubani, Megan Bayles, M.S., Faith Burnham, Maya Dye, Erin Heniff, B.S., Maurita Harris, M.S., Tina Nie, M.S., Widya Ramadhani, M. Arch., & Bethanie Sharp.


AGE-WELL Canada; Anthem; Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA); Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) Atlanta; Deaf Seniors of America; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; OSF Healthcare; Post-Polio Health International


From assistive technologies (e.g., wheelchairs, screen readers) to emerging new technologies, such as smart phones applications, and voice-activated assistants (e.g., Amazon Alexa), technology holds great potential to support the health, wellness, and independence of people with long-term disabilities so they can age-in-place in their home and community of choice. For these types of technologies to be effective in supporting aging-in-place, researchers and designers must understand the needs of the people who will use them. Building upon previous research, we are continuing efforts to understand activity challenges in-depth among older adults with long-term vision, hearing, and mobility disabilities. We are expanding participatory research studies, including interviews and surveys, to identify critical technology needs among a larger and more diverse sample of people. This project will provide the groundwork to drive new research and guide the design of new smart technologies, including those being developed in other TechSAge projects.

Woman talking to couple using sign language using video conferencing   blind man touches smart phone with finger

man in wheelchair holding smart phone

Project Status

  • We are continuing to analyze data from population-based datasets, including the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), to use as a benchmark for our qualitative user needs findings.
  • The second version of the TechSAge Minimum Battery is now complete. This self-report questionnaire is a compilation of aging and disability measures designed to capture key characteristics about individuals aging with long-term disabilities (e.g., demographics, health, vision/hearing/mobility functional abilities, falls, daily living activities, technology use). This assessment is being used in all TechSAge research studies.
  • We are collecting data for the second phase of the Aging Concerns, Challenges, and Everyday Solution Strategies (ACCESS) study. We are focusing on new target populations with long-term disabilities, including: multiple sclerosis, late deafened, and vision impairment due to macular degeneration and glaucoma.
  • We developed two TechSAge Tools to support other R&D projects, including: “Design Iteration Tracking” and “Heuristic Analysis”.
  • At the 2020 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) virtual conference last November, Megan Bayles presented findings from interviews with subject matter experts who have professional and/or personal experience working with specific populations of people aging with disability.


Select Publications

Remillard, E.T., Campbell, M.L., Koon, L.M., Rogers, W.A. (2022) Transportation Challenges for Persons Aging with Mobility Disability: Qualitative Insights and Policy Implications. Disability and Health Journal, 5(1), Supplement. Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2021.101209 

Gudur, R., McDonagh, D., Harris, M. T., & Rogers, W. A. (2020).  Design as a catalyst: A pedagogical framework.  22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. Denmark. https://doi.org/10.35199/EPDE.2020.42 

Gudur, R. R., McDonagh, D., T. Harris, M., & A. Rogers, W. (2020). Sparks of innovation: transforming challenges into opportunities. In K. Christer, C. Craig, & P. Chamberlain (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Design4Health 2020 (1), 162-169. Sheffield Hallam University. https://research.shu.ac.uk/design4health/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/D4H-Proceedings-2020-Vol-1-Final.pdf#page=162 

Nie, Q., Koon, L.M., Khamzina, M., Rogers, W.A. (2020). Understanding Exercise Challenges and Barriers for Older Adults with Mobility Disabilities. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. 64(1): 1297-1301. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1071181320641308 

Rogers, W. A., Ramadhani, W. A., Harris, M. T. (2020).  Defining aging in place: The intersectionality of space, person, and time.  Innovation in Aging, 4, 1–11 https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igaa036  

Koon, L.M., Remillard, E. T., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2020).  Aging Concerns, Challenges, and Everyday Solution Strategies (ACCESS) for adults aging with a long-term mobility disability. Disability & Health Journal, 13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2020.100936

Remillard, E. T., Griffiths, P. C., Mitzner, T. L., Sanford, J. A., Jones, B. D., & Rogers, W. A. (2020). The TechSAge Minimum Battery: A Multidimensional and Holistic Assessment of Individuals Aging with Long-Term Disabilities. Disability and Health Journal, 13(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2019.100884 

Bixter, M., Blocker, K., Prakash, A. Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2019).  Understanding the use and non-use of social communication technologies by older adults: A qualitative test and extension of the UTAUT model.  Gerontechnology, 18, 70-88. https://doi.org/10.4017/gt.2019.

Singleton, J. L., Remillard, E. T., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2019). Everyday technology use among older deaf adults. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 14(4), 325-332. https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2018.1447609

Remillard, E. T., Mitzner, T L., Singleton, J. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2018). A qualitative approach to understanding user needs for aging with disability. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Universal Accessibility in the Internet of Things and Smart Environments (SMART ACCESSIBILITY 2018), 18-22. 978-1-61208-622-4  

Preusse, K. C., Gonzalez, E. T., Singleton, J. L., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2016). Understanding The Needs of Individuals Aging with Impairment. International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 4(2), 144-168. 10.1504/IJHFE.2016.082246

Harrington, C. N., Mitzner, T. L., & Rogers, W. A. (2015). Understanding the role of technology for meeting the support needs of older adults in the USA with functional limitations. Gerontechnology, 14, 21-31. 10.4017/gt.2015.

Project Alumni

Laura Barg-Walkow, Ph.D., Alyse Bondarowicz, B.S., Patricia (Suzanne) Eastwood, B.S., Christina Harrington, Ph.D., Rebecca Goneh, Saahithya Gowrishankar, B.A., Jordan Hartley, MPH, Rob Kistenberg, M.S., Christopher Kovac, B.S., Lisa Le, B.A., Jennifer Lee, B.S., Brian Pastor, M.S., Kimberly Preusse, M.S., Ahmad Rathor, B.S., Arijana Sovsic, Emily Spoolstra, Rachel Stuck, Ph.D., Shreya Vellala, & Amy Wing-Lam Chong, M.S.

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