Please join us at the CIS 720 Seminar this Monday, November 23 (4:30p-5:30p HST) for CIS PhD Candidate Terence Rose’s talk on his dissertation research.
The Digital Talking Book Program was developed between the 1990s and the 2000s to replace the Analog Cassette format, which had been developed during the 1960s to allow people with disabilities to access reading material. The Digital Talking Book Program was built around flash memory technology. The reasons for which the National Library Service for the Blind Physically Handicapped (NLS) supported their decision to employ this technology were as follows: (1) at that time, the flash memory technology was considered “state of the art”; (2) the format was sufficiently durable to be mailed via the United States Postal Service. This study examines the design, development, and deployment of this technology as a social-technical process. It will further explore NLS’s Digital Talking Book Program and Digital Talking Book Player’s development and implementation processes based on three perspectives. The first is the Patron’s perspectives, and the second is that of the Technology/artifact perspectives (Digital Talking Book Program, Digital Talking Book Player, and Adaptive/Assistive Technologies). The third is constituted by the Policy perspectives (stakeholders, laws, and regulations: On the local, state, and federal levels, international treaties, NLS’s policies, and congressional oversight). This dissertation will examine how these three perspectives interact to create and influence policy using social informatics as a theoretical framework. Additionally, these interactions are influenced by stakeholders who were involved throughout the decision making process; all these factors guided the planning and execution of the current program and the Digital Taking Book Player’s design and will impact the plans for a new Digital Talking Book Program and future designs for a new Digital Talking Book Player. This inquiry utilizes qualitative case study methods by analyzing documents using NVIVO 10, which is a Computer-Assisted Qualitative Software Program (CAQDAS) that was used to examine NLS and the Digital Talking Book Program. This dissertation will apply the three perspectives to argue that the design, deployment, and deployment of NLS’s Digital Talking Book Program is a social-technical process.