India — LIRNEasia

The objectives of the studies included:

  • Investigating daily life and the challenges faced in social, economic, educational and other critical aspects in the lives of persons with disabilities
  • Mapping the use of ICT as assistive tech, and for recreational and informational purposes, by persons with disabilities; assessing the disabled communities’ understanding of, and expectations of, ICT;
  • Comparing different types of impairments and socio-economic categories
  • Reviewing user experiences of those using ICT and Assistive Technologies
  • Understanding the barriers to the use of ICT for the disabled community
  • Identifying and mapping the key themes around the challenges and opportunities

Data collection tools

We mostly used qualitative methods of research, to understand disability as a complex of experiences in different domains of everyday life.

Focused ethnographies were conducted in India and Sri Lanka, first day involved understanding the respondents’ daily living challenges in the home environment, and the second day involved a public life exercise where the researcher shadowed the respondent in a public space to understand the challenges in the external environment. In both engagements, we attempted to understand how the respondents navigated built structures, transport ecosystems, and other barriers, with or without the assistance of technology.

In-depth-interviews were conducted to understand the life experiences and challenges of people with disabilities, map their use of ICT in daily life, and collect data using semi-structured and pre-identified areas of inquiry.

Key informant interviews were conducted to get a macro understanding about disability issues in India and Sri Lanka views on latest policy work, and other developments in the field.

Separate focus group discussions with each of the three disabled groups (visual, hearing, and mobility) were conducted, to understand what the experiences and expectations associated with specific disability types.


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