Accessibility to information and communications technology for the social participation of youths with disabilities: A two-way street

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Abstract

The current study examined by mixed method the effectiveness of an accessibility to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) program that provided computers, assistive technology, tutors, and internet connection to 65 youths with severe disabilities (aged 13.22±3.4years) in their homes. The quantitative evaluation included assessment of computer task performance, computer skills, and participation in social ICT leisure activities before and after the program. Findings revealed low baseline and significant progress on most outcome measures 6months after the program, mostly among those youths who had tutors. Additional in-depth interviews were conducted 1year later with 10 participants to explore their ICT use and its impact on their social participation. The analysis revealed a significant contribution of the ICT use, while critical thinking about its risks and some disappointment with the social needs that ICT does not address. Our findings raise awareness of 'two-way streets' policies and programs to ensure e-inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Law

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