University of Twente Student Theses


Enabling technologies : between the needs for assistance and acceptance

Kapeller, Alexandra (2017) Enabling technologies : between the needs for assistance and acceptance.

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Abstract:Enabling technologies are defined as technologies that alleviate the impact of a disability. This alleviation can happen in many ways, which are reflected by five categories of enabling technologies. Despite their usefulness for disabled people’s participation in society, some enabling technologies suggest that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’. Many disabled people would like to be accepted as they are instead of ‘fixed’ with technology. This need for acceptance constitutes a problem when its implications contradict the need for assistance: the dilemma of assistance and acceptance arises. By combining disability studies, mediation theory, the capability approach, and a case study, the presentation answers the question How can enabling technologies overcome the dilemma of assistance and acceptance? in two parts; understanding its origin and working towards a solution. First, the dilemma of assistance and acceptance arises when enabling technologies reinforce contested views on disability, stigmatize, or discriminate disabled people. Second, it can be extenuated by following guidelines for inclusive design informed by the capability approach. It can be completely avoided only with cultural change, which can be supported by enabling technologies that shape the perception of disability in a positive way.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy, 10 humanities in general, 71 sociology
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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