[Athen] Study on Social Media Use and Accessibility in Canada

Jennison Mark Asuncion asuncion at alcor.concordia.ca
Sun Jun 21 20:25:08 PDT 2009

Study on the Use and Accessibility of Social Media by College and
University Students with Disabilities in Canada

The Adaptech Research Network, in partnership with the National
Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), has launched a
national, cross-disability empirical study examining the use and
accessibility of social media by college and university students
with visible and invisible disabilities. For the purposes of this
research, social media includes social networking sites such as
Facebook and MySpace, online gaming, virtual worlds such as
SecondLife, along with instant messaging services, blogs, wikis and sites
such as YouTube, RateMyProfessor.com, and Classmates.com.
Issues to be investigated include: understanding what social media
postsecondary students with disabilities currently use and why;
what, if any accessibility-related issues these users face; and for those
who do not use social media, why.

As colleges and universities, along with sectors such as government,
employers and all manner of commerce turn to social media to reach
prospective, current and graduating college and university students
broadly, it is more important then ever to have data on who is using what
social media, and understand and address any accessibility
barriers. Failure to do so could result in denying full participation by
all college and university students, including those with
disabilities, in the full range of opportunities that engaging with social
media offers.

For more information on the study, contact Project Leader, Jennison
Asuncion jennison at adaptech.org

Since 1996, the Adaptech Research Network has been publishing and
presenting empirical, Canadian research primarily into the use and
accessibility of information and communication technologies by
college and university students with disabilities. This includes a
recently completed three-year study looking at the accessibility of
e-Learning, and the development of evaluation tools that campuses can use
to assess their ICT accessibility from either the service provider or
students with disabilities perspective. We have further extended our research
scope, exploring the persistence of college and university students with
disabilities (stay tuned for a separate announcement on another study).
Based at Dawson College in Montreal, the team is Co-Directed by Catherine
Fichten, Maria Barile, and Jennison Asuncion. Our
website (to be refreshed over the summer) is located at www.adaptech.org

Jennison Asuncion
Co-Director, Adaptech Research Network www.adaptech.org
LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jennison

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