Wilderness and resistance: Illuminating the digital inequalities experienced by adults with learning disabilities between 1970 and 1999

Seale, Jane (2019). Wilderness and resistance: Illuminating the digital inequalities experienced by adults with learning disabilities between 1970 and 1999. Disability & Society, 34(9-10) pp. 1481–1503.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2019.1576504

Abstract

The focus of this paper is how special needs technology in the UK was developed and used for and by adults with learning disabilities between 1970 and 1999. 52 experienced practitioners were interviewed about their memories of the period. Analysis of their experiences reveal a number of digital inequalities; how the practitioners working to support the technology use of adults with learning disabilities experienced these inequalities as a vacuum of support and what attempt they made to redress the balance. These finding suggest that new technologies currently being developed are unlikely to reduce digital inequalities for adults with learning disabilities without significant shifts in our understanding about what contributes to such inequalities and the role that practitioners can play in resisting such inequalities.

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