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Increasing participation in the information society by people with disabilities and their families in lower-income countries using mainstream technologies

By Tim Barlott, Kim Adams and Al Cook


Assistive technology (AT) has been actively researched, developed and implemented throughout higher-income countries, but is relatively absent from lower-income countries. In lower-income countries, there is very little AT for reading, writing, communicating and for participation in the information society. In order for persons with disabilities in lower-income countries to participate fully in society, mainstream information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones should be used as AT. This paper explores the potential for using mainstream ICTs as AT in lower-income countries, keeping in mind current ICT trends, characteristics of the post-PC era and ICT-based AT in higher-income countries. The paper concludes with a case study where mobile phones and SMS were used by people with disabilities and their caregivers to access information in a resourced-limited community in Bogota, Colombia. Mobile phones, a readily available mainstream ICT in this community, were a useful tool for addressing the information exclusion of people with disabilities and caregivers

Topics: Assistive technology, ICT4D, SMS, Information and communication technology, 1705 Computer Networks and Communications, 1709 Human-Computer Interaction, 1710 Information Systems, 1712 Software
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s10209-015-0418-z
OAI identifier:

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