DOI: 10.1177/0145482x241231990 ISSN: 0145-482X

Challenges in Acceptance of Smartphone-Based Assistive Technologies: Extending the UTAUT Model for People With Visual Impairments

Paraskevi Theodorou, Kleomenis Tsiligkos, Apostolos Meliones
  • Rehabilitation
  • Ophthalmology

Introduction: Despite the plethora of sensor-based assistive technology solutions, there is still no widespread acceptance and adoption by people who are blind or have low vision (i.e., visually impaired). Many reasons prevent reducing abandonment levels with a prominent one being a lack of focus on the dimension of training, which, from our standpoint, is integral to the acceptance of assistive technologies. To prove the importance of training, we extend and validate a new version of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model incorporating training as a factor. Methods: Closed- and open-ended questionnaires were given online and offline to 231 participants with visual impairments after conducting training sessions with an application for outdoor navigation by people with visual impairments developed by our research team. To assess the UTAUT extension exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation model were employed to explore the relationships between the factors. A usability and user experience qualitative analysis supplemented the previous. Results: We uncovered that no factor besides performance expectancy (standardized regression weight = 0.264, p < .001) and training (standardized regression weight = 0.538, p < .001) significantly predict behavioral intention. Furthermore, the analysis demonstrated a significant interaction ( p < .007) strengthening the positive relationship between training and behavioral intention (standardized regression weight = 0.142). The qualitative analysis showed an overall positive evaluation highlighting the application's usefulness and dependability. Discussion: An application's adoption increases if individuals who are visually impaired are properly trained and acquainted with the features in real-life scenarios and recognize the application's utility for their daily lives. Implications for Practitioners: Training plays an important role in technology acceptance. It can be leveraged to make solutions more appealing to people who are visually impaired.

More from our Archive