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The accessibility and usage of smartphones by Arab-speaking visually impaired people

Najd Al-Mouh (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Hend S. Al-Khalifa (Information Technology Department , College of Computer and Information Sciences, King Saud University , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 2 November 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate accessibility and usage of mobile smartphones by Arabic-speaking visually impaired people in Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 104 participants with visual impairments were interviewed about their use of mobile phones with the following questions: What is the most commonly used mobile phone? What is the popular domain for which they use mobile phones? What are their favorite applications? What accessibility challenges do they usually face while using mobile phones? How often do they use the Internet via mobile phones and what are the reasons behind that?

Findings

This research is the first study with such magnitude to investigate smartphone usage by Arabic-speaking visually impaired people. The survey has revealed that Arabic-speaking visually impaired people utilize mobile phones in different ways and strategies. Getting assistance in performing daily tasks and navigating independently are two of the most common uses for mobile phones.

Originality/value

Based on the findings, the authors are going to propose some guidelines to developers to improve smartphone accessibility, application design and Internet usage to improve accessibility for visually impaired people.

Keywords

Citation

Al-Mouh, N. and Al-Khalifa, H.S. (2015), "The accessibility and usage of smartphones by Arab-speaking visually impaired people", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 418-435. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPCC-09-2015-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited