Smartphone, tablet computer and e-reader use by people with vision impairment
2014 (English)In: Ophthalmic & physiological optics, ISSN 0275-5408, E-ISSN 1475-1313, Vol. 34, no 5, 552-557 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, and e-book readers have become far more widely used in recent years. Many of these devices contain accessibility features such as large print and speech. Anecdotal experience suggests people with vision impairment frequently make use of these systems. Here we survey people with self-identified vision impairment to determine their use of this equipment.
An internet-based survey was advertised to people with vision impairment by word of mouth, social media, and online. Respondents were asked demographic information, what devices they owned, what they used these devices for, and what accessibility features they used.
One hundred and thirty-two complete responses were received. Twenty-six percent of the sample reported that they had no vision and the remainder reported they had low vision. One hundred and seven people (81%) reported using a smartphone. Those with no vision were as likely to use a smartphone or tablet as those with low vision. Speech was found useful by 59% of smartphone users. Fifty-one percent of smartphone owners used the camera and screen as a magnifier. Forty-eight percent of the sample used a tablet computer, and 17% used an e-book reader. The most frequently cited reason for not using these devices included cost and lack of interest.
Smartphones, tablet computers, and e-book readers can be used by people with vision impairment. Speech is used by people with low vision as well as those with no vision. Many of our (self-selected) group used their smartphone camera and screen as a magnifier, and others used the camera flash as a spotlight.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 34, no 5, 552-557 p.
low vision, reading, smartphones, technology, vision impairment
Ophthalmology Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject Natural Science, Optometry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-62146DOI: 10.1111/opo.12136PubMedID: 25070703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-62146DiVA: diva2:1087656