Exploring the use of smartphones and tablets among people with visual impairments: Are mainstream devices replacing the use of traditional visual aids?: Assistive Technology: Vol 0, No 0, by Natalina Martiniello

Dear GTT Blog readers.  I urge you all to check out this well done report by Natalina Martiniello and how it impacts the community of blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind people.  You will find the website to be well marked with Heading navigation, so click the below link with confidence.




Smartphones and tablets incorporate built-in accessibility features, but little is known about their impact within the visually impaired population. This

study explored the use of smartphones and tablets, the degree to which they replace traditional visual aids, and factors influencing these decisions. Data

were collected through an anonymous online survey targeted toward visually impaired participants above the age of 18, whom had been using a smartphone

or tablet for at least three months. Among participants (n = 466), 87.4% felt that mainstream devices are replacing traditional solutions. This is especially

true for object identification, navigation, requesting sighted help, listening to audiobooks, reading eBooks and optical character recognition. In these

cases, at least two-thirds of respondents indicated that mainstream devices were replacing traditional tools most or all of the time. Users across all

ages with higher self-reported proficiency were more likely to select a mainstream device over a traditional solution. Our results suggest that mainstream

devices are frequently used amongst visually impaired adults in place of or in combination with traditional assistive aids for specific tasks; however,

traditional devices are still preferable for certain tasks, including those requiring extensive typing or editing. This provides important context to designers

and rehabilitation personnel in understanding the factors influencing device usage.




Thx, Albert


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