(2021) Interdependence in Action: People with Visual Impairments and Their Guides Co-Constituting Common Spaces, Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 5(CSCW1), New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery, pdf, doi:10.1145/3449143
Prior work on AI-enabled assistive technology (AT) for people with visual impairments (VI) has treated navigation largely as an independent activity. Consequently, much effort has focused on providing individual users with wayfinding details about the environment, including information on distances, proximity, obstacles, and landmarks. However, independence is also achieved by people with VI through interacting with others, such as in collaboration with sighted guides. Drawing on the concept of interdependence, this research presents a systematic analysis of sighted guiding partnerships. Using interaction analysis as our primary mode of data analysis, we conducted an empirical, qualitative study with 4 couples, each made up of person with a vision impairment and their sighted guide. Our results show how pairs used interactional resources such as turn-taking and body movements to both co-constitute a common space for navigation, and repair moments of rupture to this space. This work is used to present an exemplary case of interdependence and draws out implications for designing AI-enabled AT that shifts the emphasis away from independent navigation, and towards the carefully coordinated actions between people navigating together.