The next Disability Research Forum meeting will take place on 22nd Feb at 2-4pm in Arundel 10211
Our first speaker is Emily Redmond from the charity Good Things Foundation
Disabled people crossing the digital divide: Supporting independence with digital skills in the community
This presentation focuses on research undertaken with community organisations which support disabled people, to find out about the barriers to digital inclusion facing this audience. The research, carried out by Sheffield charity Good Things Foundation, has informed a practical handbook to help such organisations get disabled people online.
12.6 million UK adults lack basic digital skills and 5.3m have never been online. Research shows that disabled people are among the most digitally excluded groups in the UK, with 25% of disabled adults having never used the Internet, compared to 10.2% of UK adults. These statistics indicate there is a need for further resources to support organisations with the knowledge and best practice to help more disabled people benefit from digital skills and the Internet.
The Doing Digital Inclusion: Disability Handbook is a practical online resource which outlines common barriers disabled people face to learning basic digital skills and getting online, and presents advice on overcoming these barriers, including tips for engaging, recruiting and supporting disabled people in the community to gain digital skills.
Good Things Foundation (formerly Tinder Foundation) is a charity that supports digitally and socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital. It brings together thousands of community partners to make up the Online Centres Network, reaching deep into communities to help people across the UK gain the support and skills they need to change their lives and overcome social challenges.
The second speaker is Ria Cheyne who is based at Liverpool Hope University
Disability, Sexuality and Romance (Novels)
As a popular media form that frequently depicts disabled characters finding love and living happily ever, romance novels are a key site of investigation for Disability Studies. In a cultural context in which disabled people are rarely positioned ‘as either desiring subjects or objects of desire’ (Anna Mollow and Robert McRuer), popular romance texts which explore and celebrate disabled sexuality are multiply significant. This presentation focuses on the depiction of disabled sexuality in a range of contemporary romance novels, exploring what such texts have to offer both disabled and non-disabled readers.