Use of Social Media by People with Visual Impairments: Usage Levels, Attitudes and Barriers


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Inclusion by Accessible Social Media - Use of Social Media by People with Visual Impairments: Usage Levels, Attitudes and Barriers - Fuglerud, Kristin Skeide (f)

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Use of Social Media by People with Visual Impairments: Usage Levels, Attitudes and Barriers

  1. 1. Use of Social Media  by People with Visual Impairments:  Usage Levels, Attitudes and Barriers ICCHP 2012, Linz Kristin Skeide Fuglerud, Norwegian Computing Center (NR)Ingvar Tjøstheim, Norwegian Computing Center Birkir Rúnar Gunnarsson, Blindrafelagid Morten Tollefsen, MediaLT
  2. 2. Introduction• Social media is an important arena for participation in society• This presentation is based on results from two surveys conducted in two R&D projects: • IVIS supported by Nordforsk • NetCitizen supported by the Research Council of Norway.
  3. 3. Two surveys about social media usage (1) • A representative telephone survey (IVIS project) • Participants drawn from member list of the Norwegian Association for the Blind and Partially sighted (NABP). • 150 respondents • Questions with predefined answer alternatives
  4. 4. Two surveys about social media usage (2)• A web survey among disabled (WebCitizen project) • Recruited through e-mailing lists, Facebook and the project webpages • 101 answers, 70% visually impaired • Open ended questions
  5. 5. Results telephone survey IAccess to mobile phone and PC• 99% of visually impaired in NABP (Norway) had a mobile phone• Access to a PC • 58% blind • 73% severe visual impairment • 77% moderate visual impairment • 94% General population
  6. 6. Results telephone survey IITypes of services• Facebook 90%• Windows messenger 80%• Skype 65%• Twitter 10%• YouTube 10%
  7. 7. Results telephone survey IVUsage in age groups• 15-24 years (general population) • 90% (96%) used Facebook • 100% used text-messages (SMS) • 45% used mobile apps• Across all age groups • 20% (21%) used mobile apps
  8. 8. Results telephone survey VMotivation for use of social mediaThe motivation is associated with • how easy or difficult it is to use social media • the possibility of interacting with peers and other VI through social media.
  9. 9. Results web survey IAccessibility and usability barriers• Most comments referred to Facebook• Capthca is a major barrier• Difficult navigation• Buttons and interaction elements lacking alternative texts
  10. 10. Results web survey IIAccessibility and usability barriers• Emoticons (e.g. smileys is not interpreted by screen readers)• Most apps and computer games integrated in FB were inaccessible• User generated content, such as uploaded pictures etc. lacked alternative texts.
  11. 11. Results web survey IIIOther issues• Problems associated with web 2.0 technology (AJAX) • Reloading parts of the web page• Frequently changing interfaces• Lack of training opportunities and documentation for AT users• Many visually impaired people prefer the mobile web interface • Easier and more accessible • Less functionality
  12. 12. Results web survey V: Added value “… I use what I have learnt on Facebook when I later meet people face to face, and this has made it much easier forExample: me to follow and understand thePregnancy context of conversations. It has also become much easier to keep in touch with people I otherwise would not have had the resources to keep in contact with. For me, Facebook provides the opportunity for a more active social life out in “real life”.
  13. 13. Discussion• The usage level of social media among the young not far behind the rest of the population• Does this mean that social media is fairly accessible? - The surveys reveals many difficulties - Visually impaired use the mobile interface with less functionality - Strong motivation to use social media
  14. 14. Conclusion Quite high usage of social media among visually impaired people in Norway despite difficulties, probably due to high motivation and mobile interfaces. Many of the accessibility and usability challenges are known, could have been addressed by adherence to existing guidelines Better accessibility guidelines alone is not enough Important to ensure a participatory and user centred design process, involving various stakeholders
  15. 15. Thanks for your attention! Comments? Questions? Please contact Kristin Skeide Fuglerud Head of e-Inclusion Norwegian Computing CenterE-mail: