UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

What's the ideal scooter? Stakeholders' perspectives on enhancing the usability and safety of motorized mobility scooters Owonuwa, Dolapo Deborah


The use of motorized mobility scooters (MMSs) helps improve the quality of life of people living with disabilities by facilitating independence and community engagement. However, alongside these benefits, some challenges have been found to accompany their use. While issues that stem from the environment, the user, and the technology have been identified in literature as leading contributory factors to challenges with MMS use, technological problems have received much less attention. As the design of any technology plays a vital role in facilitating or impeding its own use, this study sought to understand diverse stakeholders’ perspectives on how technological factors influence MMS usability and safety, and how these can be enhanced. A qualitative descriptive method of inquiry was used in the study. A conceptual framework developed from the HAAT Model and the Compensatory frame of reference informed the data collection and analyses. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive maximum variation sample of 12 MMS users and 17 service providers who had experience with MMS-related services. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim and content analysis was performed on the data. Analyses of the data resulted in three main themes. The first theme “Finding the right fit” explored the technology-related considerations and compromises made along the MMS procurement process; the second theme “Negotiating everyday challenges” explored the day-to-day challenges of MMS use that are associated with technological issues; and the third theme “Identifying solutions and barriers” explored ideas on enhancing MMS usability and existing or potential barriers. By investigating the technological issues that arise with MMS use in real world situations from the perspectives of diverse stakeholders, this study presents a unique point of view that has not been explored in literature. Findings from this study provide insights into how technological factors impact the usability and safety of MMSs for different user populations, during the performance of different activities, and its use in different environments. Stakeholders’ recommendations on enhancing MMS usability and safety can also help inform future innovation regarding MMS design.

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