Friday January 29, 2016

The line between accessory and assistive technology

Why are glasses cool, but not hearing aids like this one, decorated with crystals?

Why are glasses cool, but not hearing aids like this one, decorated with crystals? (Flickr cc/Soichi Yokoyama)

Listen 7:06

How do some tools, like eyeglasses, come to be considered 'normal' while others, like hearing aids, continue to be labeled as 'assistive' technologies that are used by people with disabilities? Michelle Macklem is a radio producer and graduate student in media studies at Concordia University. She examines how labelling certain devices as assistive technologies, shapes our assumptions and treatment of the people who use them



Michelle's graduate thesis project is called Adaptive. Her research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.

In this piece you heard from Aimee Louw, Sara Hendren, and Graham Pullin.