Sensory App-Practices and Non-Visual Navigation

As digital devices have become an integral part of everyday life, questions emerge about the conditions of possibility such devices create for people with disabilities and the relationship between mainstream technologies and assistive technologies. The present media ethnographic project investigates these questions by problematising the relations between sensory practices of blind people and digital media. It will ask how the senses are produced in socio-technical arrangements (Bøhler/Giannoumis 2018) and how they relate to established assistive devices such as the long cane. Which translation processes between visuality, sound and environment can be observed? What meanings, problems and possibilities are produced by mobility arrangements of blind app practices when visual information from urban environments is translated as sound (sonification) or speech synthesis? By generating knowledge about app users, their mobile and sensory practices and their subjective modes of perception, the analysis will provide information about contemporary processes of inclusion and exclusion in digital, often visually dominated contexts of action.