How do adults with intellectual disabilities use Facebook?

Carmit Noa Shpigelman, Carol J. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social networking sites have potential to support social relationships and self-determination of people with intellectual disabilities. However, to date, this issue has received little research attention. To help address this need, we conducted an online research survey to reach adults with intellectual disabilities who use Facebook and to include their voices about their online experiences, challenges, and preferences. We used mixed methods for data collection and analysis. Results from 58 respondents indicated that they use Facebook much as non-disabled users do to connect with family members and real-world friends. At the same time, the respondents reported challenges such as privacy setting and literacy demands. We discuss these findings and how to make social networking sites more accessible for users with intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1616
Number of pages16
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • Facebook
  • access
  • intellectual disability
  • social networking sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Health Professions
  • General Social Sciences


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