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Future Internet 2013, 5(3), 376-397; doi:10.3390/fi5030376

Internet Access by People with Intellectual Disabilities: Inequalities and Opportunities

Psychology Department, School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
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Received: 15 March 2013 / Revised: 11 May 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality in the Digital Environment)
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Abstract

This review gives an overview of the societal inequalities faced by people with intellectual disabilities, before focusing specifically on challenges people face accessing the Internet. Current access will be outlined along with the societal, support and attitudinal factors that can hinder access. Discussion of carer views of Internet use by people with intellectual disabilities will be covered incorporating consideration of the tension between protection, self-determination and lifestyle issues and gaining Internet access. We will address how impairment related factors may impede access and subsequently discuss how supports may be used to obfuscate impairments and facilitate access. We will move on from this to critically describe some of the potential benefits the Internet could provide to people with intellectual disabilities, including the potential for self-expression, advocacy and developing friendships. Finally, strategies to better include people with intellectual disabilities online will be given along with future research suggestions.
Keywords: intellectual disability; Internet access; digital divide; support; inequalities; universal design intellectual disability; Internet access; digital divide; support; inequalities; universal design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chadwick, D.; Wesson, C.; Fullwood, C. Internet Access by People with Intellectual Disabilities: Inequalities and Opportunities. Future Internet 2013, 5, 376-397.

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