Digital Disability, Mental Health and Social Inclusion
The Digital Disability, Mental Health and Social Inclusion program brings together researchers working on understanding the potential of digital media to redesign and reimagine a more inclusive world. We promote the redesigning of our digital systems so that they work for all potential users, including users with disability.
While disability is usually thought of as a medical problem existing within an individual’s damaged body, this program interrogates the way disability is created by inaccessible attitudes, public places and modes of communication.
This so called social model of disability understands wheelchair users are disabled by the absence of ramps, not an inability to walk. Likewise, people who cannot see are disabled when visual information is not communicated in an accessible alternative format such as braille or audio.
However, disability is still more often represented in media and culture as a problem located in an individuals’ damaged body, not in an inaccessible and inflexible society.
The program focuses on two key areas – media access and representation.
The Access stream aims to leverage the potential of digital technologies to improve access to and engagement with entertainment, education and everyday life for people with and without disability.
The representation stream documents and advocates for improving and increasing representations of disability in media and popular culture.
This research program explores the role of culture and technology in both creating and alleviating disability. Projects focus on disability and digitisation and the importance of accessibility for people with and without disability.
Professor Katie Ellis, Senior Research Fellow, MCASI and Director CCAT
Dr. Amy Dobson, Research Associate, MCASI
Prof. Mike Kent, Internet Studies, MCASI
Dr. Eleanor Sandry, Internet Studies, MCASI
Prof. Tama Leaver, Internet Studies, MCASI
Dr Kathryn Locke, Research Associate, MCASI
Dr. Gwyneth Peaty, Internet Studies, MCASI
Ms. Kai-Ti Kao, Sessional Academic, MCASI
Dr. Denise Woods, Internet Studies, MCASI
$46635 Access on Demand: A study of disability and streaming television 2020. Australian Communications Consumer Action Network. CI Katie Ellis.
US$148 103.00 (AU$ 222 154.50) Moving Pictures: Using digital media to improve dementia care in India. Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program – Alzheimer’s Associate Research Grant (AARG). CIs Brijnath, B., Cooper, C., Santosh, L., Varghese, M., Dow, B., Ellis, K., Kent, M., Antoniades, J.
$40000 Disability Inclusion Investment across the digital delivery continuum. National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. Cis Katie Ellis (Curtin), Matt Brett (Deakin), Tim Pitman (Curtin), Darlene McLennan (Utas), Elizabeth Knight (Vic2.2toria University).
$842 211.00 Department of Health: Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund – Moving Pictures: Using film and digital media to raise dementia awareness in CALD communities (Extended project) CIs: Bianca Brijnath (Curtin University), Jon Adams (UTS Sydney), Colette Browning (RDNS Sydney), Dianna Goeman (RDNS Sydney), Katie Ellis (Curtin University), and Mike Kent (Curtin University).
$7 000.00 Echo 360 Research Grant Automatic Closed Captions and Immersive Learning in Higher education. CIs: Katie Ellis and Mike Kent.
$17 000.00 Curtin Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant – Digital technologies and the completion rates of university students with disabilities: Inclusive learning for the future. CIs: Katie Ellis, Mike Kent and Tim Pitman.
$431 089.00 Department of Health: Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund – Moving Pictures: Using film and digital media to raise dementia awareness in CALD communities CIs: Bianca Brijnath (Curtin University), Jon Adams (UTS Sydney), Colette Browning (RDNS Sydney), Dianna Goeman (RDNS Sydney), Katie Ellis (Curtin University), and Mike Kent (Curtin University).
$32 000.00 ACCAN Grants Scheme for the project – Accessing Audio Description in Australia: An online Resource. CIs Katie Ellis and Mike Kent.
$23 736.29 Curtin Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant – Internet of Things (IoT) and Education: Implications for Students with Disabilities. Project Leader Mike Kent.
$40 000.00 Louisa Alessandri Memorial Research Fund Grant – Using smartphones to navigate urban spaces – People with disabilities and the role of mobile technologies in three WA locations. CIs Katie Ellis and Mike Kent.
$18 004.44 Curtin University Teaching Excellence Development Fund Grant – Alternative Approaches to Engaging with Video Content. CIs Mike Kent and Katie Ellis.
$29 991.00 National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education grant – Access and barriers to online education for people with disabilities. CI Mike Kent.
$26 200 ACCAN Grants Scheme for the project – Accessing Video on Demand: A study of disability and streaming television. CIs Katie Ellis and Mike Kent.
ARC SRI (2020-2024) “The evolution of disability arts in Australia” ($227,131). Principal Investigators Prof Bree Hadley; A/Prof Edward Paterson; Prof Katie Ellis; A/Prof Janice Rieger; A/Prof Michael Whelan; Ms Caroline Bowditch; Dr Christen Cornell; Ms Caitlin Vaughan.
ARC Discovery (2016-2019) “Navigating urban spaces – People with disabilities and the role of mobile technologies” ($187,222). Principal Investigators Katie Ellis and Mike Kent.
ARC DECRA (2013-17) “Disability and Digital TV: Access, representation and reception” ($369, 706). Principal investigator Katie Ellis.