The authors explore how consumers with a variety of visual impairments handle day-to-day interactions with service providers, products, and services. Interviews with 21 people with visual impairments reveal that there are considerable individual differences in adaptation strategies, including the degree of independence desired and achieved. Interview themes are explicated by means of a conceptual model of the contexts and interplay of dependence and independence in the lives of people with visual impairments. The model suggests that independence and dependence are not mere opposites on a single dimension; rather, they are domain-specific and complex and are determined by both environmental factors and personal characteristics. It further suggests that some forms of dependency may be as adaptive for many people as is the striving for independence by others. The authors conclude with a discussion of implications for the Americans with Disabilities Act and marketing practice as well as the larger area of consumer vulnerability.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul-hill/7/