FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Books, dissertations, abstract

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 25 |

«A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Text & Technology in the College of ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --








MPhil, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2004

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Text & Technology

in the College of Arts & Humanities

University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida Spring Term Major Professor: Anthony Grajeda                         © 2012 Tara Prakash Tripathi                 ii  


When Thomas Edison applied for a patent for his phonograph, he listed the talking books for the blind as one of the benefits of his invention. Edison was correct in his claim about talking books or audio books. Audio books have immensely helped the blind to achieve their academic and professional goals. Blind and visually impaired people have also been using audio books for pleasure reading. But several studies have demonstrated the benefits of audio books for people who are not defined as disabled. Many nondisabled people listen to audio books and take advantage of speech based technology, such as text-to-speech programs, in their daily activities.

Speech-based technology, however, has remained on the margins of the academic environments, where hegemony of the sense of vision is palpable. Dominance of the sense of sight can be seen in school curricula, class rooms, libraries, academic conferences, books and journals, and virtually everywhere else. This dissertation analyzes the reason behind such an apathy towards technology based on speech.

Jacques Derrida’s concept of ‘metaphysics of presence’ helps us understand the arbitrary privileging of one side of a binary at the expense of the other side. I demonstrate in this dissertation that both, the ‘disabled’ and technology used by them, are on the less privileged side of the binary formation they are part of. I use Derrida’s method of ‘deconstruction’ to deconstruct the binaries of ‘assistive’ and ‘main stream technology’ on one hand, and that of the ‘disabled’ and ‘nondisabled’ on the other.

Donna Haraway and Katherine Hayles present an alternative reading of body to conceive of a post-gendered posthuman identity, I borrow from their work on cyborgism and

–  –  –

tested example of an identity without body and a space without disability.

The opposition between mainstream and speech-based assistive technology can be deconstructed with the example of what Walter Ong calls ‘secondary orality.’ Both disabled and non-disabled use the speech-based technology in their daily activities. Sighted people are increasingly listening to audio books and podcasts. Secondary Orality is also manifest on their GPS devices. Thus, Secondary Orality is a common element in assistive and mainstream technologies, hitherto segregated by designers. The way Derrida uses the concept of ‘incest’ to deconstruct binary opposition between Nature and Culture, I employ ‘secondary orality’ as a deconstructing tool in the context of mainstream and assistive technology.

Mainstream electronic devices, smart phones, mp3 players, computers, for instance, can now be controlled with speech and they also can read the screen aloud. With Siri assistant, the new application on iPhone that allows the device to be controlled with speech, we seem to be very close to “the age of talking computers” that William Crossman foretells. As a result of such a progress in speech technology, I argue, we don’t need the concept of speech based assistive technology any more.


–  –  –

This dissertation went through many ups and downs. Some of them did not have anything directly to do with the dissertation or its author. The cynicism prevalent in the political and academic environment may make one ponder many times about the fecundity or futility of any meaningful academic endeavor. Yet, if my dissertation has been a journey through a desert, I enjoyed a lot. I enjoyed all the oases I came across. The mirages on the way were tempting, but not enough to dissuade me from the correct path I took and stuck to all through this academic journey.

For a successful completion of this journey, I would like to give credit to Dr. Anthony Grajeda. He took out time from a very busy semester to read my dissertation and offered valuable suggestions to improve on my work. His course pertaining to visual technology offered me valuable insights in to the topics I cover in this work. In addition to his intellectual support, his moral support was also required, and he offered it to me in abundance during some tough times. I want to sincerely thank him for helping me accomplish what seemed impossible just a few months back.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. James Campbell and Dr. Barry Mauer, they contributed significantly to my theoretical understanding of various issues pertaining to this study. The courses they offered helped me write and organize this dissertation. Their comments on my academic work throughout this doctoral program prepared me for this final product.

Dr. David Metcalf helped me understand the role of ubiquitous devices in education. It was thanks to him that I started viewing iPhone with a positive perspective. I must also thank him for taking out time for the defense of this dissertation on such a short notice.

–  –  –

admission in charge before joining the program. She not only encouraged me to join the programs, she lent her kind ears whenever I wanted her attention, especially during difficult times.

There are many others whom I should be grateful to. I am thankful to all those whom I could not mention here and who helped me complete this work. I will, however, mention my wife Shabori Sen and my dear friend Mary Tripp. Mary, by showing interest in my research and asking me about it, helped me organize and articulate my ideas clearly. She not only offered me rides when I needed them, she made them pleasant as well.

Shabori was critical on the technical side of this dissertation. She devoted her valuable time in reading, revising and formatting my work. Her presence ensured that when I worked on this dissertation, the ideas came to me but the kids did not. As always, I am grateful to her.

–  –  –


Background and Rationale


Statement of Purpose

Scope and Limitations

Dissertation Outline

Chapter 2: Deconstructing Disability: Discourse on People without Reality to People without Corpo-Reality

Chapter 3: Disabling Barriers, Inaccessibility of Electronic Spaces: The Role of Assistive Technology

Chapter 4: Orality and Universal Access



Foucault, on Formation of ‘Abnormal’ Subjects and Construction of a ‘Disabled’ Body....... 37 Lennard J. Davis

Rosemary Garland-Thompson

Metaphysics of Normalcy

Cyborg Theory: Theorizing a Post-Disabled World




Disembodiment of Sound and Disembodiment of Book

Print-Disabled, the Unintended Beneficiaries of a “Late-Modern” Device

From Orality to Literacy: Books for the Blind, Early Ventures

From Literacy to Secondary Orality: Talking Books

Problematizing Assistive Technology

Kindle, a Twist to Kindled Hopes

Universal Design: From Principles to Problems


Why Study Orality?

The End of the Gutenberg Era?

Secondary Orality and Talking Books

Problem with Audio Books Stated by Birkerts

Hypertext and Secondary Orality

The Talking Hypertext

Universal Access to Ubiquitous Technologies

Digitally Accessible Information System

Last Words


–  –  –

This dissertation sets out to deconstruct the concept of speech-based technology as assistive technology specifically designed for the visually challenged or print disabled people.

Assistive technology, also known as AT, as defined by Kevin Crow, is a collective name for software or devices “designed especially for people with disabilities with the aim of providing such people means to function normally in the world.” Assistive technology has, as Marcia Scherer explains in her Living in the State of Stuck: How Assistive Technology Impacts the Lives of People with Disabilities, “contributed significantly in the attempts of leveling the social, academic and professional fields for the blind and visually challenged individuals” (23).

As I demonstrate in this dissertation, due to significant changes in society and with evolution of technology, the terms ‘Disability’ and ‘Disabled’ have undergone a theoretical displacement. Consequently, I argue, the concept of an exclusive technology for disabled people needs to be reexamined as well. As I enunciate later in this dissertation, speech--based AT has many enabling aspects vis-a-vis the print disabled individuals, yet, as this dissertation attempts to establish, assistive technology based on speech has served its exclusive purpose towards the print disabled individuals, and now this technology need not be preceded by the qualifier ‘assistive.’ Technology, in my view, is by definition assistive. The qualifier ‘assistive’ in ‘assistive technology’ is, therefore, redundant, and serves the only purpose of keeping the disabled in a segregated technology zone.

–  –  –

When Thomas Edison applied for a patent for his phonograph, he listed audio books for the blind as one of the benefits of the device (Markovic). Ever since Edison’s prediction, speech technology was relegated to the marginalized territory of AT. There is no denying that Talking books or audio books have indeed immensely helped the blind to reach their academic goals.

They have also been used by the blind for pleasure reading. But several studies have demonstrated the benefits of audio books for people who are not defined as disabled.

The qualifier ‘assistive’ implies that the technology is specially designed for disabled individuals. The fact that many non-disabled frequently use speech technology in their diurnal activities provides ample reason for us to reexamine and deconstruct the concept of the speech based AT. When a speech based device is categorized as AT, it becomes limited in scope. It is targeted to very few individuals— those with ‘special needs,’ those with ‘disabilities.’ The label of assistive technology also ensures a higher price tag, the justification being that it is a specialized product. Thus, however benevolent, the concept of Assistive Technology perpetuates the segregation between the visually challenged and sighted populations around the world. The segregation is apparent in the fact that those who cannot read print on their own are made to pay significantly more to be able to use the same device as their sighted counterparts. For example, sighted people can reasonably satisfy their computer-related needs with a $400 computer. A blind individual, on the other hand, has to buy a screen reading software that costs about $1000, to be able to use that $400 computer. That blind individuals have to buy expensive software to be able to use their computer is not in the spirit of the ideals of equal access to technology and learning environments championed by the proponents of Universal Design (UD). The concept of   UD argues for “providing a framework for considering how products and environments can be designed to accommodate the broadest range of users” (Bowe 13). The history of UD will show

that the proponents of UD first campaigned against barriers in the built environment:

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 25 |

Similar works:

«Kommeniertes Vorlesungsverzeichnis des Philosophischen Seminars für das Wintersemester 2015/16 Inhalt Vorlesungen............................................................................. 2 Interpretationskurse...................................................................... 5 Proseminare..............................»

«Skythisches Gold in griechischem Stil Untersuchungen zur nordpontischen Toreutik am Beispiel der Waffenund Gefäßbeigaben des Solocha-Kurgans Band 2: Katalog Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde der Philosophischen Fakultät der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Bonn vorgelegt von Anja Wieland aus Berlin Bonn 2013 Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Harald Mielsch Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Martin Bentz Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 26. Oktober 2011 Inhaltsverzeichnis Katalog...»

«DISSERTATION Titel der Dissertation ―Gendered ‗Landscapes‘: Jahan Ara Begum‘s (1614-1681) Patronage, Piety and Self-Representation in 17th C Mughal India‖ Band 1 von 1 Verfasser Afshan Bokhari angestrebter akademischer Grad Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil.) Wien, 2009 Studienkennzahl lt. Studienblatt: A 092315 Dissertationsgebiet lt. Studienblatt: Kunstgeschichte Betreuerin/Betreuer: Univ. Prof. Dr. Ebba Koch TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page 0 Table of Contents 1-2 Curriculum Vitae 3-5...»

«1 Universität Dortmund Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Philosophie und Theologie Die Bedeutung von Tieren für die therapeutische Arbeit mit älteren Menschen vorgelegt von: Bianca Müller Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Naegele Zweitgutachter: Dr. Wolf-R. Klehm abgegeben am: 26. Januar 1998 II Inhalt Tabellenverzeichnis 1 Motivation und Einleitung 1.1 Einleitung 2 Literaturrecherche zum Gegenstandsbereich der tiergestützten Therapie 2.1 Formen tiergestützter Therapie ein...»

«1 Jürgen Oelkers Relevance, Role and Function of Philosophy-of-Education within Present Day Educational Science*) When Volker Kraft asked me last year to give this lecture I did not know anything about the title. The subject was very vague and I was glad about it because I had other things to do. Early this year I left Europe for Japan to write a book on Rousseau. This sounds a little bit crazy, but due an invitation of Hiroshima University I really had the opportunity to finish a book on...»

«77 Kant’s contribution to social theory Kant’s contribution to social theory By Ana Marta González, Navarra Abstract: Although Kant is not usually counted among the forerunners of social sciences, any look at the work of the most prominent social theorists of the past century shows the pervasive influence of Kant’s philosophy. This influence is obvious and crucial at the epistemological level, if only because Kant himself set the frame for subsequent discussion of the difference between...»

«DIPLOMARBEIT Titel der Diplomarbeit „Das Universum des Todeserotikers“ Josef Winkler im literarischen und geographischen Spannungsfeld von Eros und Thanatos von Kamering bis Varanesi Verfasserin Cornelia Ebner angestrebter akademischer Grad Magistra der Philosophie (Mag.a phil.) Wien, im Februar 2008 Studienkennzahl lt. Studienblatt: A 332 Studienrichtung lt. Studienblatt: Deutsche Philologie (Germanistik) Betreuerin: Univ. – Prof. Dr. Pia Janke DANKSAGUNG Zu allererst möchte ich mich...»

«Organon F 22 (1) 2015: 9-20 The Contrast between Dogmatic and Critical Arguments DANNY FREDERICK Slate House. Hunstan Lane. Old Leake Boston. Lincolnshire, PE22 9RG. United Kingdom dannyfrederick77@gmail.com RECEIVED: 28-06-2014  ACCEPTED: 07-09-2014 ABSTRACT: Karl Popper lamented the prevalence of dogmatic argument in philosophy and commended the kind of critical argument that is found in the sciences. David Miller criticises the uncritical nature of so-called critical thinking because of...»

«Sprechfunkregeln 30.06.2005 Allgemeine Sprechfunkregeln von Dani “Due” Novet Grundlagen des Flugfunkes Diese ersten Grundlagen stellen die grundlegende Philosophie des internationalen Sprechfunkes dar. Jede weitere Funksprache, sei es nun CB-Funk, VFR-, IFR-, NATO-, Bambini-Voice baut auf diesen Grundprinzipien auf. Es gibt zwar verschiedene Aspekte, alle gehen jedoch auf eine einzige Philosophie zurück und basieren darauf, dass wenn alle das.gleiche Sprechen, man auch mit fehlenden...»

«Published in: Endo and Exo-Concepts of Observation and Knowledge in Physics, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science. Ed. by H. Atmanspacher and G. Dalenoort. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1994. Pp. 163–193 Endoand exo-theories of matter HANS PRIMAS Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, ETH ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland Abstract The endo/exo-dichotomy in the domain of the material world is analyzed from the standpoint of old-fashioned Cartesian dualism. The holistic structure of the quantum...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.book.dislib.info - Free e-library - Books, dissertations, abstract

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.