Smooth sailing? Autoethnography of recreational travel by a blind person

Kate Stephens, Matthew Butler, Leona M. Holloway, Cagatay Goncu, Kim Marriott

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9 Citations (Scopus)


We present an autoethnographic study of an independent blind traveller, Kate. It recounts her preparation for a 28-day cruise and then her experience onboard the ship. Her planning notes, field notes and travel diary were analysed in terms of five main themes: information access, orientation and mobility, tools and technology, cultural and societal issues, and person-centred issues. This analysis provides a deeply personal account of the barriers-in particular information access, orientation and mobility and staff attitudes-that she faced, as well as the skills and tools that she used to overcome these. A particular focus is Kate's use of technologies to access visual information and the provision of accessible maps and models before the trip to help her build a cognitive map of the ship's layout.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASSETS'20 - The 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility
EditorsHugo Nicolau, Karyn Moffatt
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450371032
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility 2020 - Virtual, Greece
Duration: 26 Oct 202028 Oct 2020
Conference number: 22nd,a%20fully%20online%20format%20instead. (Website) (Proceedings)


ConferenceACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility 2020
Abbreviated titleASSETS 2020
Internet address


  • assistive technology
  • Autoethnography
  • blind
  • disability
  • mobility
  • orientation
  • travel

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