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Digital participation of young people with disabilities

For young people, digital technologies have become integrated as a mode of life, where use of social media, gaming etc. across multiple devices blend into almost all relations and practices in everyday life as a multi-modal digitality. Inclusive societies and citizenship have thus become impossible to realize without the digital dimension. However, research reveals a paradox; (1) digital media promise alternative ways of engagement for people with disabilities, and (2) digital medias create new barriers and vulnerabilities for people with disabilities. Young people with disabilities – like young people in general - use various digital technologies, but differences in prevalence and utilization suggest a disability digital divide. Social media use may bypass practical problems and support social connectedness in young people with various disabilities, but youth with disabilities also experience higher prevalence of digital bullying and excessive and problematic use of digital technologies. Across disability groups, intersections between risk and benefits are poorly understood. While ‘young people’s digital lives’ is generally a well-reflected and documented research area, not much research has been done on the digital lives of young people with disabilities. Especially in a Danish context, research on media and disability is very scarce. We intend to strengthen this research agenda and take the first steps towards an interdisciplinary focus on media and disability at AU.

Louise Bøttcher

Associate Professor Danish School of Education - Educational Psychology, Emdrup

Stine Liv Johansen

Associate Professor School of Communication and Culture - Børnelitteratur