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Title: Use of mobile phones by people with disabilities : a tool for empowerment or disempowerment?
Authors: Han, Angela Shiyun
Rasyida Samsudin
Lian, Yiting
Tasneem Banu M Ali
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Around 10 percent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. This number is expected to increase as the global population ages (WHO, 2006). The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has been shown to enhance the development of health, education and livelihoods. However, current disability studies lack substantial interaction with technology (Goggin, 2006). Our study aims to address this gap by examining the benefits that People with Disabilities (PWDs) derive from ICT and how these benefits lead to empowerment. It also examines the extent to which these benefits overcome barriers faced by PWDs, as specified by the medical model and social model of disability. We conducted in-depth interviews over a 6-week period with 25 mobility-impaired respondents in Singapore, aged between 19 to 64 years to find out the role of the mobile phone in their lives. Findings showed that respondents used the mobile phone differently as compared to able-bodied individuals. Also, the mobile phone afforded notable benefits that were unique to this group. Although the benefits of ICT did overcome some barriers that respondents faced, they were still inadequate in breaking down more critical barriers to empowerment.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI/CA)

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