iOS -- Worthy of the Hype as Assistive Technology for Visual Impairments? A phenomenological study of iOS device use by individuals with visual impairments

Shari Scott, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This qualitative study sought to explore the shared essence of the lived experiences of early adopters of iOS devices as assistive technology by persons with visual impairments. The capstone question addressed the idea of whether any one device could fully meet the assistive technology needs of this population. Purposeful sampling methods were used to find nine participants with legal blindness that had been using iPhones, iPads, and/or iPods soon after Apple added VoiceOver to its mobile operating systems. These participants were surveyed and interviewed about all of their experiences of assistive technology, both vision-specific and adapted mass marketed devices.^ This document contains extensive verbatim statements regarding assistive technology as presented to the researcher. After horizonalization of the data, thematic groupings of structural and textual descriptions, and creative integration, the distilled essence of the group's experiences appeared to be the very ubiquitous and personal nature of assistive technology. Assistive technology becomes so personal that its presence is often forgotten. Participants agreed that for assistive technology to be effective, the choice of system and implementation must be made by the individual; it cannot be mandated by an outside agency, provider, or evaluator.^

Subject Area

Information Technology|Education, Special|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Shari Scott, "iOS -- Worthy of the Hype as Assistive Technology for Visual Impairments? A phenomenological study of iOS device use by individuals with visual impairments" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3601339.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3601339

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