The impact of tablet computers on students with disabilities in a higher education setting

Kirsty Elizabeth Henderson, Christopher Gibson, Forbes Gibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the impact of iPads on students with disabilities in a Higher Education (HE) setting with a focus on: an assessment of their physical characteristics and functionality; their utility as communication devices; and the use of iPads to engage with university services. The participants, who had a range of disabilities, were provided with iPads for a period of three weeks, given basic training in their operation, and were instructed to use them freely. The participants completed an online survey and then took part in semi-structured interviews at the end of the loan period. The participants also undertook a series of short information-seeking tasks that were designed to compare the performance of laptops and tablet computers. This study should be of use to education practitioners as well as acting as a pilot for future studies aimed at investigating the provision of tablet computers to students with disabilities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-76
Number of pages16
JournalTechnology and Disability
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • tablet computers
  • students
  • disabilities
  • higher education
  • information seeking
  • laptop computers
  • usability studies


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