"I Choose Assistive Devices That Save My Face" A Study on Perceptions of Accessibility and Assistive Technology Use Conducted in China

by   Franklin Mingzhe Li, et al.

Despite the potential benefits of assistive technologies (ATs) for people with various disabilities, only around 7 an opportunity to use ATs. Even for those who have used ATs, the abandonment rate was high. Although China has the world's largest population with disabilities, prior research exploring how ATs are used and perceived, and why ATs are abandoned have been conducted primarily in North America and Europe. In this paper, we present an interview study conducted in China with 26 people with various disabilities to understand their practices, challenges, perceptions, and misperceptions of using ATs. From the study, we learned about factors that influence AT adoption practices (e.g., misuse of accessible infrastructure, issues with replicating existing commercial ATs), challenges using ATs in social interactions (e.g., Chinese stigma), and misperceptions about ATs (e.g., ATs should overcome inaccessible social infrastructures). Informed by the findings, we derive a set of design considerations to bridge the existing gaps in AT design (e.g., manual vs. electronic ATs) and to improve ATs' social acceptability in China.



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