Designing equal participation in informal learning for people with visual impairment

Chien Wen Yuan, Benjamin V. Hanrahan, Sooyeon Lee, John M. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Informal learning opportunities that complement formal education with diversity and flexibility are abundant in our daily lives. While sighted people take advantage of such learning and may take it for granted, people with visual impairment are sometimes excluded, due to their sight loss, from accessing informal learning, social interaction, and civic engagement. In this sense, they are not equal participants in the highly visual, sighted world. This paper investigates the needs of people with visual impairment, identifies issues, and suggests a direction to support equal participation. We propose four environment scenarios, grounded in our field work, to describe how to support learning and interaction in a sighted world. We discuss how design implications derived from our scenario-based analysis can help guide technological interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
JournalInteraction Design and Architecture(s)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessibility
  • Informal
  • Positive design
  • Scenario-based design
  • Social learning
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Education
  • Media Technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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