Augmentative, Alternative, and Assistive: Reimagining the History of Mobile Computing and Disability


This article explores the linked histories and sociocultural implications of the Texas Instruments Vocaid and the Apple iPad, two technologies produced by consumer electronics firms and used as assistive devices by nonspeaking people. Through this transient case study, the author argues that developments in mobile computing and advancements in electronic communication aids are inherently intertwined through the history of their research, development, commercialization, use, and reuse. Although disability is often underrepresented within the history of computing, it's played, and continues to play, a vital role in how computers augment and offer alternatives to human communication and expression.

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