Essential needs and requirements of mobile phones for the deaf

Hsiao Ping Chiu, Chien Hsiou Liu*, Ching Lin Hsieh, Rong-Kwei Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Despite their necessity for deaf people in daily life, mobile phones still lack features and functions required by those individuals. While assessing the daily needs of deaf mobile phone users is an important issue for closing this gap, this issue has seldom been addressed. Therefore, we adopted a qualitative research method to extract and construct needs from deaf mobile phone users and translate them into user requirements for mobile phone development. Semistructured interviews and task observations were performed to obtain information from 12 deaf mobile phone users. Context coding was used to code the collected data into needs. The coded needs were then sorted into six categories (social, communication, consumption, entertainment, transportation, and safety) and translated subjectively into three requirements (specific feature-function, general feature-function, and common). The requirements were compared with the functions of the mobile phones of the participants, and five feature-function gaps were identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-185
Number of pages14
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2010


  • disability
  • qualitative research
  • user needs
  • user requirements

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