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Original Research Articles

Assistive Devices for Persons with Visual Impairment and Low Vision: Preferences and Expectations of Users in the Southern States of India

Author:

Tagore Govindarajan

National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (Divyangjan) (NIEPVD), IN
About Tagore

The author is a Research Officer at the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (Divyangjan) (NIEPVD), Regional Centre, Chennai, India. He is actively involved in research on visual impairment, accessibility, cerebral palsy, community based rehabilitation and assistive devices.

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Abstract

Purpose: Persons with visual disabilities use various assistive devices to support, uphold or progress their functional abilities. Under the ADIP scheme of the Government of India, persons with any form of disability are provided with assistive devices to suit their needs. This study focused on finding out the preferences of persons with visual impairment in selecting and using their assistive devices. It also aimed to understand their expectations and measures for assessing the utility of assistive devices.

Method: Data was collected by using semi-structured interview schedules from 227 respondents in the Southern States of India and the Union Territory of Puducherry (Pondicherry). The expectations and suggestions made by the study sample are discussed in detail.

Results: Assistive devices of any sort are considered in terms of credibility, availability and suitability. The study findings revealed that 90% of the users preferred assistive devices such as Braille Slate-Interpoint A4, Taylor Frame, Daisy Player, JAWS Screen Reading Software, NVDA Screen Reading Software, Chessboard and Audible Cricket Ball, which were extremely helpful for their independent living. They had used most of these assistive devices in the optimal way.

Conclusion: Assistive devices distributed to persons with visual impairment under various schemes are beneficial in enhancing their progress in education, employment, social participation and recreational aspects of life. The expectation of the respondents/users was that assistive device services be made easily accessible.

How to Cite: Govindarajan, T., 2022. Assistive Devices for Persons with Visual Impairment and Low Vision: Preferences and Expectations of Users in the Southern States of India. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 33(1), pp.7–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.47985/dcidj.399
Published on 15 May 2022.

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