This project was undertaken in collaboration with Sonia Nurkse, MOT, OTR/L and Bridget Tanner, MSOT, OTR/L, two occupational therapists working on the inpatient rehabilitation unit at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to answer the question, “What are the most effective, up-to-date, and user-friendly assistive technology options to support individuals with quadriplegia in functional tasks?” Five databases were searched and through screening and careful review, 19 articles were selected for critical appraisal. Due to the wide variety of devices, some commercially available and other prototypes, we were unable to compare them and determine a superior device. Rather, the assistive technology (AT) devices were organized into three categories: devices that support computer and typing access, devices that support environmental control, and devices that restore function.

A binder was developed containing AT software and hardware for individuals with limited to no upper extremity use. The AT binder contains devices that are supported by research and those without evidence. An in-service was organized to present the finished product to collaborators and their OT/PT colleagues. Through this process, it has been determined that there is a need for increased outcome research on AT devices for individuals with quadriplegia. This research has also highlighted the unique role that occupational therapy practitioners have in supporting quadriplegic clients’ independence. Due to the rapid rate of technological advances and developments, it is recommended that practitioners actively work to stay current on assistive technology devices and resources.

Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


University of Puget Sound

Project Chairperson

George Tomlin, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Project Chairperson

Publication Date



Capstone Project





Degree Program

Occupational Therapy

Degree Level

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound