Use of consumer wireless devices by South Africans with severe communication disability

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dc.contributor.author Bornman, Juan
dc.contributor.author Bryen, Diane Nelson, 1946-
dc.contributor.author Moolman, Enid
dc.contributor.author Morris, John
dc.date.accessioned 2016-05-13T12:38:46Z
dc.date.available 2016-05-13T12:38:46Z
dc.date.issued 2016-02-19
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND : Advancements in wireless technology (e.g. cell phones and tablets) have opened new communication opportunities and environments for individuals with severe communication disabilities. The advancement of these technologies poses challenges to ensuring that these individuals enjoy equal access to this increasingly essential technology. However, a paucity of research exists. OBJECTIVES : To describe the nature and frequency with which South African adults with severe communication disabilities have access to and use wireless devices, as well as the types of activities for which wireless devices are used. METHOD : Survey research was conducted with 30 individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology using the Survey of User Needs Questionnaire developed in the United States, and localized to the South African context. RESULTS : All participants, despite their limited education, unemployment and low economic status, owned and/or used mainstream wireless devices. Slightly more than half of the participants (53.3%) needed adaptations to their wireless devices. Advantages of using wireless devices were highlighted, including connecting with others (through using text messaging, social networking, making plans with others, sharing photos and videos with friends), for leisure activities (e.g. listening to music, watching videos, playing games), and for safety purposes (e.g. to navigate when lost, using the device when in trouble and needing immediate assistance). CONCLUSION : These wireless devices offer substantial benefits and opportunities to individuals with disabilities who rely on AAC in terms of independence, social participation, education and safety/security. However, they still do not enjoy equal opportunity to access and use wireless devices relative to the non-disabled population. en_ZA
dc.description.department Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The financial assistance of Momentum Fund towards the FOFA Project (an empowerment project for individuals who use AAC) and the publication of this manuscript are hereby acknowledged. Also, we wish to thank the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC), funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00, for allowing use of its Survey of User Needs questionnaire. en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.ajod.org en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Bornman, J., Bryen, D.N., Moolman, E., & Morris, J., 2016, ‘Use of consumer wireless devices by South Africans with severe communication disability’, African Journal of Disability 5(1), Art. #202, 9 pages. http://dx.DOI.org/ 10.4102/ajod.v5i1.202. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2223-9170 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2226-7220 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.4102/ajod.v5i1.202
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/52617
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS Open Journals en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.title Use of consumer wireless devices by South Africans with severe communication disability en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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