Date Presented 04/21/2023
This study will explore how low-vision clients using technology during the COVID-19 lockdown adapted to the changes and the challenges they faced.
Primary Author and Speaker: Yu-Pin Hsu
Additional Authors and Speakers: Vidya Pingale
COVID-19 has dramatically changed the world since 2019. It is a highly contagious virus and many states implemented stay at home. It profoundly affected populations with disabilities, including the low vision population. They faced myriad challenges and showed decreased participation in daily activities. Technology use in general increased significantly during the pandemic for works and for communication. The low vision population may find these technologies either support or hinder their daily tasks. The purpose of this study is to explore how these client’s utilized technology during lock down. A retrospective qualitative case study method was used. The data from a previous study was reanalyzed using thematic analysis to answer the following question. ‘How did individuals with low vision use technology during COVID-19 pandemic?’ Data was collected using an in-depth semi-structured interview. Two researchers conducted thematic analysis independent of each other. Nvivo (version12 Pro) was used. A sample of six clients with low vision was recruited. Inclusion criteria: low vision diagnosis and18 years of age or older. Exclusion criteria: clients who did not speak English. In conclusion, many low vision clients are utilizing low vision apps on their smartphone to engage in various activities during lock down. However, the challenges this population faces are loneliness at times but understood their smart phone was able to assist them to be independent at home. The limitation of this research is that it is a small sample. All clients expressed they relied so much on their smartphones and had to learn more apps to adapt their needs. Impact Statement: this research will make OTs more aware of their role as the leader to advocate for using common technology (low vision apps on smartphone) for their clients to support various activities at home and within community, and to increase their autonomy.
McGrath, C., & Corrado, A. M. (2019). The environmental factors that influence technology adoption for older adults with age-related vision loss. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82(8), 493–501. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308022618813247
Garfin. (2020). Technology as a coping tool during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: Implications and Recommendations. http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0032-8092
Fauci, A. S., Lane, C., & Redfield, R. (2020). COVID-19 Navigating the uncharted. The New England Journal of Medicine, 382, 1268–1269. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMe2002387.
Lee, K., Park, S., & Oh, U. (2021, May). Designing Product Descriptions for Supporting Independent Grocery Shopping of People with Visual Impairments. In Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1–6).