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Disabled children's digital use practices to support formal learning

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date27/06/2018
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventIFIP TC3 OCCE 2018: Empowering Learners for Life in the Digital Age - Linz, Linz, Austria
Duration: 24/06/201828/06/2018


ConferenceIFIP TC3 OCCE 2018
Abbreviated titleOCCE2018
Internet address


There is evidence to suggest that many children’s lives have been transformed through engagement with digital technologies, such as computers, laptops and mobile devices for learning, leisure, social networking and development of digital literacy skills. Nevertheless, limited research has considered how disabled young people use technology. This is a serious omission given the importance of digital participation for all young people. In response, a participatory research study was designed which investigated disabled young people’s digital use practices for learning. Young people with visual impairment and their teachers were interviewed in mainstream schools in England within the context of inclusive education policy; results were analysed using social practice theory. Results were mixed. Benefits were found to include general digital learning practices and discrete digital accessibility practices in order to access the curriculum. Whilst young people were generally positive about uses, digital accessibility practices often carried an extra task load due to the need to work around barriers that could sometimes make them feel self-conscious and stigmatised. The paper concludes with a call for further research to improve how disabled young people are supported with digital technologies and to guide teachers to embed more inclusive digital pedagogical designs in their practice.