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Digital Disability

Disability is typically thought of as a medical problem existing within an individual’s damaged body. A social approach to disability recognises the way disability is created by inaccessible attitudes, public places and modes of communication. Approaching disability in this way, wheelchair users are understood as disabled by the absence of ramps, not an inability to walk. Similarly, people who cannot see are disabled when visual information is not communicated in an accessible alternative format such as braille or audio. Digital technologies should provide this flexibility through individualised modes of access, yet these same technologies are frequently designed in ways that are inaccessible to people with disability. 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.

Projects include: digital television, web capable devices, smartphones, captions, audio description, gaming, AI and the internet of things.

Program Leader

Associate Professor Katie Ellis, Senior Research Fellow, MCASI and Director CCAT

Researchers

A/Prof. Mike Kent, Internet Studies, MCASI

Dr. Eleanor Sandry, Internet Studies, MCASI

Dr. Anna Hampson Lundh, Internet Studies, MCASI

A/Prof. Tama Leaver, Internet Studies, MCASI

Dr. Huan Wu, Research Associate, MCASI

Dr. Gwyneth Peaty, Internet Studies, MCASI

Ms Kai-Ti Kao, Sessional Academic, MCASI

Projects

Audio Description in Australia http://audiodescriptionau.com.au/

Mainstreaming captions for Online Lectures in Higher education in Australia https://bit.ly/2THuAPy

Access and Barriers to Online Education for People with Disabilities https://bit.ly/2DtZjsC

Accessing Subscription Video on Demand https://bit.ly/2WZ5fD1

Using Smartphones to Navigate Urban Space https://bit.ly/2Su34bU

ARC Grants

ARC DECRA (2013-17). “Disability and Digital TV: Access, representation and reception” (369, 706 AUD). Principal investigator Katie Ellis.

ARC Discovery (2016-2019) “Navigating urban spaces – People with disabilities and the role of mobile technologies” (187,222AUD). Principal Investigators Katie Ellis and Mike Kent