05/11/2021 (Friday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

Opportunity or risk? New media and digital disability

New media have been regarded as an enabler that reduces barriers in a disabling environment. Adopting the uses and gratification approach, our study examined the correlation between access to new media (e.g., mobile phones or social media) and the social participation and social relationships of people with impairments. Our study conducted surveys and demonstrated that new media facilitated the social inclusion of people with impairments while creating a social inclusion gap between people with different socioeconomic status. People with disabilities from superior socioeconomic status had more possibilities to explore the physical world, while people with lower socioeconomic status were restricted to digital space. Therefore, technology was found to pose the risk of creating a new form of digital exclusion and widening the social inclusion gap among people with impairments.

Speaker’s Short Information

Liu YANG is an Associate Professor with Tenure at School of Communication and Design, Sun Yat-sen University (China). She obtained her Ph.D. at Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Science, University of Macau (China). She was a Visiting Scholar at the City University of Hong Kong, and German Academic Exchange Program. Her research interests include media and disability, media effects, etc. She had published papers in New media & Society, International Communication Gazette, etc. she is now hosting the National Fund of Social Science entitled “Digital empowerment and the social inclusion of people with disabilities”