Towards a Trajectory Analysis of Wheelchair in an Indian Context
Companion Proceedings of the 2023 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work
Association for Computing Machinery
Our research investigates the trajectory of a wheelchair based on an observational fieldwork study in India. The fieldwork comprises four months of observational studies and interviews of different environments, including house visits, rehabilitation centers, surgical shops, hospital settings, and production houses. The thematic analysis describes an artifact proceeding through various stages, from production, acquisition, use, and discarding of the assistive device. To understand the challenges faced by people with a physical impairment, we examine the crucial decision points in the trajectory and put the user on the spot. Drawing on the fieldwork, we describe the elements involved that may or may not allow the users to make confident decisions, such as cost, retrofitting, etc., and how often it is too late to re-consider the choices made in the first place. We are interested in the diverse backgrounds and viewpoints of the other actors involved in the process, and the aim is to present the complexity of the whole ecosystem of the artifact.