When mainstream technology doesn’t meet the user’s needs!


Sharon Borg Schembri, MA.Incl. Educ & Com (Melita); Dr. May Agius Ph.d


Due to advancements in the technological sector, there is an increased possibility that mainstream technology will meet the users of persons with disabilities. This session, however, is designed as a workshop to explore scenarios in which mainstream technology does not meet user needs. Case stories reflecting real life challenges will be presented which focus on 3 mains areas:

  1. Access to mainstream technology which for users with physical disabilities who require access methods which do not rely on touch or mouse e.g. switches and eye gaze
  2. Access to mainstream technology for users with intellectual disabilities
  3. Access to mainstream technology for users of minority languages

This presentation aims to focus on fostering awareness of the need for technology design to consider assistive technology principles from the outset.

Expected learning outcomes

  1. Be able to recognise the limitations of mainstream technology for person’s with disability.
  2. Learn about how mainstream technology can co-exist with AT to help a person with disability to participate independently in the activities they want.
  3. Identify future avenues for research to address the limitations of current mainstream technology for persons with disability.