Vision Australia partners with Curtin University for Australian-first smartphone research

12 February 2020

Vision Australia has partnered with Curtin University to conduct the first in-depth research in Australia on smartphone usage among people who are blind or have low vision.

Conducted by an online survey, the research is designed to give Vision Australia and the wider community with a greater understanding of usage patterns and experience of using a smartphone among the blind and low vision community.

While there might be anecdotal evidence that smartphones improve equality and accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision Chris Edwards, Vision Australia Manager Government Relations, said it’s important that a more comprehensive understanding is developed.

“For many people, smartphones are their primary method of communication and accessing information and services. As this becomes more widespread, it’s important we understand what this means for the blind and low vision community,” Chris said.

“We need to understand what our community uses these devices for, how they use them, what obstacles they may face in using them and what can be done to make these devices more accessible and useful for them. It’s also important we understand if smartphones exacerbate the challenges that can come with living with blindness or low vision,” he said.

Information gathered from the research is also increasingly important given Australia’s ageing population, as vision loss is much more prevalent in older people.

To complete the survey, please follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PMC97DQ

For further information about the research, call Vision Australia's Advocacy team on 1300 84 74 66 or email katie.ellis@curtin.edu.au.