Deaf and hard of hearing smartphone users: Intersectionality and the penetration of ableist communication norms

Nomy Bitman*, Nicholas A. John

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article shows how smartphone usage among deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) people is shaped by “normative” communication values, and how smartphones, despite seeming accessible, can reproduce hegemonic communicative norms. Qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews conducted in Israel shows that social norms of voice calls impact other smartphone interactions, such that people who cannot perform voice calls are required to obey vocal norms of immediacy even while interacting accessibly through text-based instant messaging (IM) apps or video calls. Drawing on critical disability studies, we show how deaf and HoH smartphone users’ communicative practices vary according to the intersections of their audiological status with other stigmatized positions, which has profound implications for our understanding of media accessibility.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • Deaf studies
  • Disability
  • Disability media studies
  • Mobile media
  • Qualitative research
  • Smartphones

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