An improved scoring system for the Available Motions Inventory (AMI)

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Virginia Tech

The role of engineering in the rehabilitation of the disabled has been steadily increasing in recent years. With the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, that role has taken on a new level of importance. Uncomfortable with the qualitative, disability-oriented assessment tools of their special education, occupational and physical therapists, and medical teammates, engineers have come to rely more and more on their own quantitative assessment devices. Among these, the Available Motions Inventory (AMI) has shown great promise as a tool for the development of job modifications for the moderately disabled individual. From its seventy-one sub-tests, the AMI provides raw and processed data on an individual's capability to manipulate switches, orient settings, and demonstrate strength, as well as perform light assembly tasks. Included in the output is a weighted set of scores showing the subject's strength, range of motion, and reach/reaction capabilities. However, the AMI has its drawbacks. The scoring algorithms can underestimate the capabilities of subjects who fail to perform certain tasks, and it will not permit recombination or selective omission of the various sub-tests. This study examined the feasibility of employing the AMI analysis algorithms using a spreadsheet format for the purpose of better analyzing the data generated by persons with limited range of motion disabilities. Ten Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) were asked to analyze a series of data profiles and place the individuals described by the profiles into one of four job options. The data profiles are the AMI scores for individuals falling into one of three categories of disability: normal, hemiplegic, and limited range of motion. The jobs increase in difficulty from a position of non-feasible employment to employment as a pizza chef. The data generated were analyzed using the Sign Test.

The results showed that a difference does exist between the current scoring system and the updated system in the placement of individuals. A difference between the systems was established for the case involving individuals with a limited range of motion. More importantly, the SMEs frequently chose more complex jobs for individuals with limited range of motion, suggesting that the new system provides a more realistic picture of this category of disabled persons. The results of this research permit a more effective use of the AMI by implementing an updated scoring system. The new system allows for several increased benefits during analysis. The scoring system is based on an EXCEL spreadsheet, thus it is operable in both the PC, Windows and Apple environments. Better data control and manipulation allows for better representation of an individual's capabilities. The system operates in the same manner as the existing system; however, the spreadsheet design allows for customization of the data output. Finally, it is believed that the use of the new system will increase the chance of job placement for severely disabled individuals with a limited range of motion.