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Dr Fleur Heleen Boot: Incoming Fellow

Project Title: Global access to essential Assistive Technologies for people with Intellectual Disabilities (GATE-ID)

Host Institution: Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin

Host PI: Dr Malcolm MacLachlan, Centre for Global Health and Dr John Dinsmore, Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation

Home Institution: Amarant Health Institute, Tilburg (The Netherlands)


Project Summary: A recently initiated programme of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE). GATE’s objective is to improve access to assistive technology (AT) for disabled people globally. Their 2016 target is to develop a white paper identifying the 50 most essential AT products. A specific group of people in need of AT are people with intellectual disabilities (ID). It is unknown how many people with ID globally have access to appropriate AT and which factors influence their access. It is a concern that the views and needs of people with ID are poorly represented within GATE. 

Objective: The objective of this study is to better understand facilitators and barriers for people with ID to effectively access these 50 essential AT products. Taking a systems perspective, the research will identify necessary conditions for this group of people to successfully access and use the AT products; which will improve the user’s health conditions and increase their inclusion and participation in society. Working in conjunction with the WHO’s GATE initiative, the project will have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people with ID including those in Ireland.

Approach: A realist review on current scientific evidence of facilitators for adequate access to AT products for people with ID in different resource settings will be conducted. Second, through study visits to respective ID services (including The Daughters of Charity), the knowledge of AT specialists in well-resourced ‘model system’ settings will be gathered. Third, in-country interviews in different resourced settings with providers of AT products and people with ID in need of AT products will be performed. Synthesizing  literature  and  best  practice,  along  with  the  views  of  providers,  users  and  non-users,  will  develop  a  systems framework to promote the application of GATE to people with ID: GATE-ID

Dr Fleur Heleen Boot Bio: After finishing her medical studies, Fleur started her PhD in 2009 at the department of Neuroscience in collaboration with the department of Intellectual Disability Medicine at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She studied a quantitative method to assess visual processing dysfunctions in children with intellectual disabilities. Since then, people with intellectual disabilities have been her focus. In 2011 she started to work as a medical doctor for people with intellectual disabilities, while finishing her PhD. After completing her PhD in 2013, she started the three years post graduate training programme at the Erasmus Medical Centre to become an Intellectual Disability Physician, which is a unique specialisation in The Netherlands. During her clinical work she always tried to be involved within research projects as well. In the period of her clinical traineeship at the department of paediatric neurology of the Gustavo Fricke Hospital in Viña-del-Mar, Chile, she conducted a qualitative research project concerning the healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities in Chile. Back at the Erasmus Medical Centre she worked as a post doc on a project regarding medication reviews for older people with intellectual disabilities in primary care. She presented this work at the latest IASSIDD conference in 2016, just before starting her ASSISTID fellow ship at the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College.

Fleur’s main research interests include global healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities, access to assistive products for people with intellectual disabilities, and health inequities.


First author; 2008-present

  • Boot F.H., Rodriguez Ormazabal J.
    A view at the intellectual disability healthcare in Chile. Is there a need for an intellectual disability physician?
    Tijdschrift voor Artsen voor Verstandelijk Gehandicapten; 2015 (33-1) 40-48
  • Boot F.H., Pel J.J.M., Vermaak M.P., van der Steen J. & Evenhuis H.M.
    Delayed visual orienting responses in children with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.
    Journal of Intellectual Disability Research; 2013 (57) 1093-1103
  • Boot F.H., Pel J.J.M., Evenhuis H.M., van der Steen J.
    Factors related to impaired visual orienting behaviour in children with intellectual disabilities.
    Research in Developmental Disabilities; 2012 (33) 1670-1676
  • Boot F.H., Pel J.J.M., Evenhuis H.M., van der Steen J.
    Quantification of visual orienting responses to coherent form and motion in typically developing children aged 0-12 years. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science; 2012 (53) 2708-2714
  • Boot F.H., Pel J.J.M., van der Steen J.& Evenhuis H.M.
    Cerebral Visual Impairment: which perceptive visual dysfunctions can be expected in children with brain damage? A systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities; 2010 (31) 1149-1159.
  • Boot F.H., Diepen D.C. van
    Internship in the St. Francis Designated District Hospital, Ifakara, Tanzania: “Experience of two Dutch medical students”
    Medisch Tropicus; 2008 (20), 10-11

Co-author; 2008-present

  • Pel J.J.M., Kooiker M.J., Does J.M., Boot F.H., Faber J.T., Steen-Kant S.P., Steen J.
    Orienting responses to various visual stimuli in children with visual processing impairments or infantile nystagmus syndrome. Journal of Child Neurology; 2014 (29) 1632-1637
  • Pel J.J.M., van der Zee Y.J., Boot F.H., Evenhuis H.M., van der Steen J.
    Remote eye tracking assesses age dependence processing of coherent motion in typically developing children.
    Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology; 2013 (37) 109-115
  • Pel J.J.M., van der Does J.M.E., Boot F.H., de Faber J.T., van der Steen-Kant S.P., Willemsen S.P. & van der Steen J.
    Effects of visual processing and congenital nystagmus on visually guided ocular motor behaviour.
    Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology; 2011 (53) 344-349

More publications Orcid page