To upgrade, or not to upgrade: Factors that influence user’s decisions

Technology has drastically improved the lives of disabled people over the past few decades. It has changed the way we communicate, access information, travel, and perceive the world around us. It has increased our independence, provided jobs, and enabled us to come together as a global community to share advice, lived experienced, and support. But despite these undeniable benefits, accessing and maintaining a positive relationship with technology as a disabled person isn’t as easy or straightforward as you might think.

Every disabled person has a slightly different relationship with technology. Some embrace it, some are wary of it, and still others face barriers that prevent them from accessing or owning technological staples, such as a personal computer, that our non disabled counterparts take for granted. Factors such as age, access to quality training and support, fear of change, financial status, and disability history all play an integral role in how these relationships play out. For many of us, keeping up with the latest and greatest isn’t as feasible as it might seem. Let’s take a moment to consider each of these factors to understand how they might influence a person’s decision whether or not to upgrade their technology.

Illustration: Profile shot of user with headphones

Elizabeth, Fable Community Member

“Factors such as age, access to quality training and support, fear of change, financial status, and disability history all play an integral role in how these relationships play out.”

Access to training and support

Access to quality training and support isn’t a universal experience for all disabled people. Programs and services vary across the globe. People living in cities might be able to obtain such services more easily than those living in rural areas, but this certainly isn’t true for all countries.

Training also ties in with the financial factor. Some governments or organizations may fund all or a portion of training costs, but many people h