[Air-L] critical work on Internet access and accessibility for people with disabilities?

Gerard Goggin gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au
Tue Sep 3 20:10:00 PDT 2013

Hi Philippa, and Air-L colleagues,

Great that you are embarking on this project.

Just to add to John and Michael's suggestions, my observation - having
co-authored the 2003 'Digital Disability' book, & written various things
since - is while there is now much more research/literature available on
Internet and disabilities, there is still surprisingly little critical
literature on disability and the Internet.

There is Katie Ellis and Mike Kent's terrific 'Disability & New Media'
(2011, Routledge), as well as Mike Jaeger's 'Disability & the Internet:
Confronting a Digital Divide' (Rienner, 2011).

Also very important is Karen Peltz Strauss's 'A New Civil Right:
Telecommunications Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans'
(Gaulladet, 2006).

And quite a few other important papers, not least the special issue of ICS
you note.

However, and I hope I'm wrong on this, the potential cross-over between,
say, Internet studies, and, on the other hand, critical disability studies
lies ahead.

Now, the point you raise about the intersection between health and
disability in relation to Internet technologies is interesting.

My theory is that there is a lot of health technologies that are really
about disability (or engage disability & design in some way). But this is
not recognised. 

And, here's my simple version of the argument, this is because the
biomedical model is dominant in relation to health technologies -- rather
than an acknowledgement of the social/cultural/political shaping of
disability (and health) in what we take to be interventions into health
and well-being.

In any case, I hope this is useful, and very best wishes with your

Gerard Goggin

Gerard Goggin
Professor and Chair
Department of Media and Communications
University of Sydney

e: gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au
p:  +61 2 9114 1218
m: +61 428 66 88 24
w: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/staff/gerard_goggin.shtml

On 4/09/13 12:46 PM, "John McNutt" <mcnuttjg at netzero.com> wrote:

>Try looking at the literature in assistive technology.  There is some very
>good theoretical material and a lot of practical literature.  It is a
>field and almost all of it deals with the problems of the physically and
>mentally challenged (not all of it, however, deals with ICTs).  Good luck
>with your search.
>John McNutt
>University of Delaware
>-----Original Message-----
>From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
>[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Philippa Smith
>Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 10:10 PM
>To: Air list (air-l at listserv.aoir.org)
>Subject: [Air-L] Internet access and accessibility for people with
>Dear AOIR members,
>I am currently searching the academic literature to  help me in my
>preparation of a research proposal about internet access and accessibility
>for people with disabilities here in New Zealand. This will consider not
>only difficulties in being 'connected' but also what the needs are of
>in using computers/the Internet whether they have impairments relating to
>vision or hearing, or who suffer from physical conditions as a result of
>diseases such as Parkinson's Disease or arthritis. Really anything in the
>health area that is relevant to this topic and it should extend to include
>anything about the benefits of the Internet for people with disabilities
>such as empowerment.
>I am aware that the Pew Report does cover this to some extent, and have
>found Dobransky and Harigattai's 2006 paper titled 'The disability divide
>Internet access and use' in Information Communication and Society to be
>useful. But if anyone can offer or direct me to further material I would
>very grateful.
>Kind regards
>Philippa K Smith, PhD
>Research Manager
>Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication AUT University Auckland
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