Guides bridge the social media divide

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012 11:09am

Today we’ve launched our guide to social media for people with a disability. The SociABILITY report is designed to help ensure that the one in five Australians who have a disability are not left on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Funded by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network grants scheme, the report explains the current state of social media accessibility and guides users through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Skype and blogging.

Media Access Australia researcher, Dr Scott Hollier, conducted an eight month qualitative study among people with a sensory or mobility impairment. Through this research, social media users with disabilities were able to share their tips and tricks so that others can gain access.

The report and accompanying tip sheets provide solutions to the accessibility barriers found in each social media tool and give guidance on computers, mobile devices and assistive technologies.

Dr Hollier says social media growth has exploded in Australia since he last conducted a Social Media Access Review in 2009. Facebook for example has ten million users in Australia and 1.9 million users a month access Twitter.

“We used to get questions from people like ‘Should I be using Facebook or MySpace?’” said Dr Hollier. “Now the questions are a lot more specific, like ‘How can I access Facebook and how can I use Twitter?’”

Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, endorsed the project. “It’s critical that, as we get more and more connected as a community, people with disability are not left out. This report will be a very useful tool in ensuring that does not occur.”

The full SociABILITY: social media for people with a disability report and tip sheets are available to download.

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