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Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal settlement

Barbareschi, G; Oldfrey, B; Long, X; Magomere, G; Wetende, W; Wanjira, C; Olenja, J; ... Holloway, C; + view all (2020) Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal settlement. In: ASSETS '20: The 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. (pp. p. 50). ACM Green open access

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Abstract

Living in informality is challenging. It is even harder when you have a mobility impairment. Traditional assistive products such as wheelchairs are essential to enable people to travel. Wheelchairs are considered a Human Right. However, they are difficult to access. On the other hand, mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous and are increasingly seen as an assistive technology. Should therefore a mobile phone be considered a Human Right? To help understand the role of the mobile phone in contrast of a more traditional assistive technology – the wheelchair, we conducted contextual interviews with eight mobility impaired people who live in Kibera, a large informal settlement in Nairobi. Our findings show mobile phones act as an accessibility bridge when physical accessibility becomes too challenging. We explore our findings from two perspective – human infrastructure and interdependence, contributing an understanding of the role supported interactions play in enabling both the wheelchair and the mobile phone to be used. This further demonstrates the critical nature of designing for context and understanding the social fabric that characterizes informal settlements. It is this social fabric which enables the technology to be useable.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Bridging the Divide: Exploring the use of digital and physical technology to aid mobility impaired people living in an informal settlement
Event: 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS ’20).
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/3373625.3417021
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1145/3373625.3417021
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110232
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