STRATEGIES OF IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY: A DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE PERSPECTIVE (Strategie podwyzszania jakosci zycia osób niepelnosprawnych: perspektywa nueurokognitywistyki rozwojowej)
The paper explores the theoretical background of the systems model of disability and offers neuroscientific strategies for improving the quality of life of disabled people. Cognitive neuroscience, developmental neuroscience, and evolutionary biology as well, confirm thesis that human phenotypes are shaped and modified by environments in which human beings live. From the other side especially constructed and prepared environment is able to minimize effects of different cognitive and motor disabilities. Four strategies are discussed: (1) neuroprostheses and so called 'mind improvements' facilitating the contact with the environment by means of brain waves and not muscles, (2) sensory compensation making use of exchangeability of information channels and plasticity of the brain cortex, (3) enrichment of the immediate environment and thorough control of its stimulating value, (4) inclusion of the principles of universal design which restore people, especially the ones with disabilities, to normal life. A functional approach to ability limitations means that we can, in a discreet yet effective way, lessen and modulate their character by an appropriate change in the environment of the person with disability.
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