Assistive Technologies in a Cyborg World

Published in ICTD 2015: International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, 2015

Image of mobile phone held by a blind man

This short paper discusses the use of cyborg theory to study assistive technology (AT) use by people with visual impairment (VI) in development contexts. Priyank and I argue that the deep intimate interconnections that people form with their AT, while allowing them to become cyborgs, can also become the means by which they can be regulated and controlled.

This is a concern for ICTD, which strives to consider the instrumental outcomes of technology implementation as it is interwoven throughout people’s lives. Applying Lessig’s model of regulation to a cyborg body, we discuss the implications for protecting autonomy in AT use by people with visual impairment. Read More»

This paper is inspired in part by my ethnographic work in Sierra Leone. Learn more »

See the presentation at ICTD: ICTD'15 presentation on Disability and Assistive Tech in Sierra Leone