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Reframing Disability as Competency: Unpacking Everyday Technology Practices of People with Visual Impairments

Reyes-Cruz, Gisela; Fischer, Joel E.; Reeves, Stuart

Authors

Gisela Reyes-Cruz

JOEL FISCHER Joel.Fischer@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Human-Computer Interaction



Abstract

More than a billion people in the world live with some form of visual impairment, and a wide variety of technologies are now routinely used by them in the course of 'getting on' in everyday life. However, little is known about the ways in which assistive and non-assistive technologies are brought to bear on material practices. We present findings from a four-month ethnographic study facilitated by a local branch of a UK charity that supports people with visual impairments. Our study explores mainstream and assistive technology use within their everyday lives. We identify three main sites for technology use: social relations and communication practices, textual reading practices, and mobility practices. Via an ethnographic approach we contribute to understanding how people accomplish such practices, and in doing so, uncover the practical competencies that enable people with visual impairments to conduct their everyday activities. Thus we investigate how disability can be thought of in terms of competencies, arguing that understanding of competencies can enrich the design of technologies that fit the needs of people with visual impairments.

Citation

Reyes-Cruz, G., Fischer, J. E., & Reeves, S. (2020). Reframing Disability as Competency: Unpacking Everyday Technology Practices of People with Visual Impairments. In CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376767

Conference Name CHI '20: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Start Date Apr 25, 2020
End Date Apr 30, 2020
Acceptance Date Dec 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 23, 2020
Publication Date Apr 21, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 27, 2020
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Series Title Human Factors in Computing Systems
Book Title CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
ISBN 9781450367080
DOI https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376767
Keywords visual impairments; disability; ethnography; ethnomethodology; assistive technology
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/4326222
Publisher URL https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3313831.3376767
Related Public URLs https://chi2020.acm.org/

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