Mobile Phones and Visual Impairment in South Africa

Experiences from a Small Town

Authored by: Lorenzo Dalvit

The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138884588
eBook ISBN: 9781315716008
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter draws on qualitative research into the use of mobile phones by visually impaired people from different cultural, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds in Grahamstown, a small town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Despite context-specific challenges such as cost, security and English proficiency, the use of smartphones goes beyond the normalization of cultural practices such as reading the news or posting on social networks. They enable independent participation by disabled people as unobtrusive assistive devices and as popular symbols of social inclusion.

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