A Survey On The Use And Accessibility Of Touch-Screen Devices Among Individuals With Visual Impairment

This one could take you a few minutes, but it’s fairly interesting.

One of the angles that stood out to me was whether or not smartphones and such are replacing your need as a blind or deaf person for dedicated assistive devices. I’ve been saying for a long time that they absolutely are. Why, for example, would you pay several hundred dollars to a company like Humanware for a GPS device when for the cost of the phone you were going to buy anyway and the $30 or whatever that Blindsquare costs now you can team it up with Google Maps and have essentially the same thing? Or why bother springing for a colour identifier when you can slap TapTapSee on your phone for free? Smartphones have done a lot to remove cost as a barrier to equal access and while I imagine that scares the bejesus out of the device builders who are used to being able to charge whatever they want, it’s hard to see that as a bad thing.

The aim of this study is to assess which mainstream touch screen devices and installable apps are being used by persons who are blind, deaf-blind or who have low vision, and whether these mainstream devices are replacing the role of conventional assistive aids.

We are looking for individuals who are 18 years or older, have a visual impairment and who have been using a smartphone or a tablet computer for at least three months. Since the survey is available in English, French and German, you should understand one of these languages to participate.

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