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Journal Article

Improving Quality of Life for People With Disability Through Social Media: Towards an Affordance Framework  pp147-158

Marius Rohde Johannessen

© Oct 2018 Volume 16 Issue 2, Editor: Dr Carl Erik Moe, pp87 - 186

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Information and communication technologies (ICT) are important for people with disability in their day‑to‑day life, as they offer possibilities and opportunities for these people to enjoy a range of new social interactions. In this article we examine the affordances of different types of social media and discuss the dichotomy between simplicity of use and social presence. Further, we discuss the implications of these affordances for development of public e‑services aimed at improving the social life of people with disabilities. Our findings show that virtual worlds are the most engaging medium. However, other social media can to some extent offer the same affordances for people with disability. We suggest that future research should empirically investigate the affordances offered by social media to people with disability and find ways of combining the affordance perspective with usability studies to fill the void in the category high social presence/low complexity of use. Finally, we present suggestions for development of an e‑service that can fill this gap and create a viable social medium for people with disability.


Keywords: Affordances, social media, virtual worlds, second life, people with disabilities, ease of use, egovernment service


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