A Disability-Aware Mentality to Information Systems Design and Development

A Disability-Aware Mentality to Information Systems Design and Development

Julius T. Nganji (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch028

Abstract

With the proliferation of information technology devices also comes a massive increase in the number of information systems that are developed to meet the demands of users. By default, designers and developers of information systems tend to design for users without disabilities. The consequences for people with disabilities are enormous. This chapter aims to propose a disability-aware approach to information systems design that advocates that stakeholders consider the needs of people with disabilities throughout development. This aim is achieved by reviewing some of the difficulties encountered by people with disabilities when interacting with information systems, proposing a disability-aware approach and examining how this could be practically implemented through e-learning design. The recommendations from 48 students with disabilities from two universities in the United Kingdom and Canada are presented. The chapter also looks at possible future research for those interested in pursuing such approach.
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Background

In order to set the scene for proposing a disability-aware mentality to information systems design and development, this section reviews literature relating to the difficulties that people with disabilities face while interacting with information systems, some assistive technologies for interacting with information systems and also reviews some approaches used in designing information systems.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Subtitles: These are texts displayed in a video usually serving as a translation of the words spoken in the video into another language so that people who don’t understand the language of the video could understand what it is all about.

Usability: This refers to how easy it is for an end user to use an information system.

Induction Loop: Also known as hearing loop, this is an assistive listening device which works by amplifying sound for an individual who can only hear partially and may not be able to distinguish speech when there is noise.

Disability-Aware Information System: Information system that considers the needs of users with disabilities and adjusts to their needs without them having to seek extra assistive technology in order to interact with it.

Mentality: A mindset or way of thinking. In this case, the mindset that designers of information systems should adopt in order to develop accessible and usable systems.

Disability: A physical or mental condition that may limit an individual's ability to fully utilize their senses such as vision and hearing and could thus limit their use of information systems, particularly when they are not designed accessibly.

Transcript: In the context of this chapter, it is a text version of a video that is produced for an individual with hearing impairment, to facilitate understanding of the words spoken in the video.

Accessibility: The design of information systems such that they can be used by everyone, regardless of their ability or disability.

Assistive Listening Device: This is a device which helps to improve hearing for people with hearing impairment.

Assistive Technology: A piece of software or device that allows a person with disability to interact with an information system without difficulty.

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