Serious Play, Serious Problems: Issues with eBook Applications

Catherine Baird
Maureen Henninger


This paper is an investigation into the accessibility of emerging interactive, multi-touch narratives, which are designed and developed to be used on Apple’s iPad device. Universal access to technology culturally, physically, mentally and socially is vital to the ethical and moral sustainability of society. The importance of this is particularly vital to the development of a child’s development of basic literacy, numeracy and reading skills, as technology becomes a predominant mode in their lives. Narratives designed and developed for the iPad device offer a multimodal, interactive environment of text, image, sound, animation and touch; yet they render the accessibility tools and functions, embedded within the iPad for users with disabilities, useless. Whilst some narratives counter this in a variety of ways in their design, there are still major areas where the concept of “universal access for all” is neglected, leaving a significant portion of users in the dark.

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