Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Technology and Disability: A Help or a Hindrance?|
|Authors:||Moist, Holly J.|
|Keywords:||standard computer technology;assistive technology (AT);primary and secondary disabilities;accessibility;limitations;obstacles;opportunities;hardware/software design;internet;enable/disable;Arts and Humanities;Arts and Humanities|
|Abstract:||<p>This paper explores the paradoxical nature of computer technology to both help and hinder people with disabilities (PWD). More specifically, it examines how assistive computer technology improves or alleviates disability and how standard computer technology produces or exacerbates disability. The study consists of 12 interviews with people who have a physical or mental disability that requires them to use assistive technology (AT) to access the computer or complete cognitive tasks. The study results investigate the complex mix of benefits and drawbacks experienced by AT users. The types of AT include screen magnifiers, screen readers, voice recognition systems (VRS) and two other devices that convert handwriting to text. The study demonstrates that while AT helps provide partial computer access to PWD, its many technical defects and social costs prevent it from solving the problem of computer access for PWD. The study also reveals that screen readers and VRS simultaneously help and hinder reading and writing. When PWD are denied full computer access, they are denied the same economic, educational and social opportunities afforded to those who are free of disability and this puts them at risk of becoming even more disadvantaged. This paper addresses the concern that the standard computer’s restrictive interface may work to further the divide between the able and the disabled.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Graduate Major Research Papers and Multimedia Projects|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.