A Framework for Studying Cognitive Impairment to Inform Inclusive Design

Conference paper


Cognitive impairment is an exceptionally complicated phenomenon, for which no simple solutions exist. There is no unified definition of what constitutes cognitive impairment and the terminology is varied. There is no uniform pattern of impairment occurring with any one medical condition and individual differences are significant: the same disease can affect people in different ways and the same condition can cause diverse patterns of impairment in different individuals. Some medical conditions causing cognitive impairment are chronic, others progressive, which adds to the difficulty of assessing their impact. In addition, the co-morbidity of certain medical conditions causes unexpected patterns of impairment. With certain conditions, such as brain injury, the impact of the impairment depends entirely on the location and extent of brain damage. (Groome et al., 2006) Furthermore, the number of people living with cognitive disability is growing due to population ageing and the improved survival rates for trauma patients (Ghajar, 2000; WHO, 2008). Neuropsychiatric illnesses and traumatic brain injury are among the leading causes of disability (WHO, 2008).


Cognitive Impairment Traumatic Brain Injury Cerebral Palsy Intellectual Disability Assistive Technology 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Design Centre, Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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