Use of mobile technology by adults who use augmentative and alternative communication : voices from two countries

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Mobile technology – cell phones, smartphones and tablets – has expanded communication and social interaction, commerce, and access to information for many people with disabilities. Little is known about the use of these mainstream technologies by adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Information comparing their use by adults who rely on AAC from both high-income and low or middle-income countries is nonexistent. This article presents data on the use of mobile technology by 38 adults from the United States and 30 adults from South Africa who use AAC. Results, focusing on outcomes and benefits, indicate that most of the participants from both countries use some form of mainstream mobile technology. Most report that their mobile devices are important, but some find it difficult to use requiring a variety of modifications. More than 50% of participants from each country used their mobile devices for text-messaging, web browsing, keeping a directory of contacts, voice calling, sharing photos or videos online, listening to music, and social networking. Recommendations are made for industry and people who rely on AAC.