Assessing people with visual impairments’ access to information, awareness and satisfaction with high-tech assistive technology

Isabelle Liang, Ben Spencer, Meike Scheller, Michael Proulx, Karin Petrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Assistive technology (AT) devices are designed to help people with visual impairments (PVIs) perform activities that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Devices specifically designed to assist PVIs by attempting to restore sight or substitute it for another sense have a very low uptake rate. This study, conducted in England, aimed to investigate why this is the case by assessing accessibility to knowledge, awareness, and satisfaction with AT in general and with sensory restoration and substitution devices in particular. From a sample of 25 PVIs, ranging from 21 to 68 years old, results showed that participants knew where to find AT information; however, health care providers were not the main source of this information. Participants reported good awareness of different ATs, and of technologies they would not use, but reported poor awareness of specific sensory substitution and restoration devices. Only three participants reported using AT, each with different devices and varying levels of satisfaction. The results from this study suggest a possible breakdown in communication between health care providers and PVIs, and dissociation between reported AT awareness and reported access to AT information. Moreover, awareness of sensory restoration and substitution devices is poor, which may explain the limited use of such technology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Early online date27 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Access
  • assistive technologies
  • awareness
  • satisfaction
  • sensory restoration devices
  • sensory substitution devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing people with visual impairments’ access to information, awareness and satisfaction with high-tech assistive technology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this