The new disabilities of ICT

Torrisi, Giovanni and Gyarmathy, Éva (2010) The new disabilities of ICT. ICT for Languge Learning. International Conference.


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It is a common notion that ICT would create new possibilities for everyone. This should be true especially for disabled people who are expected to benefit a lot from the new technologies which are at their disposal. This is simply not true or, at best, is an oversimplification of the facts. New technologies, including the new social 2.0 versions, are constructed, tested and designed for people without disabilities. ICT empowers people with new capabilities, but heavily relies on the existing ones. Telephones depend on the capacity to speak and to listen, computer screens rely on the ability to see, navigation systems count on the ability to control its commands, to see and hear, and so on. Any new technology brings with it a new power for those who can use it, and a new disability for those who cannot. Once the use of telephones became a standard procedure, people who could not use it acquired a new disability. The same applies to any new technology. Dyslexics experience specific learning difficulties, which impede their ability to recognize and comprehend written words, and in most cases hinder their acquisition of a second language. Since most of the social web relies on written words, people affected by dyslexia will experience a new stronger disability as the use of web 2.0 widens. The more people take for granted the use of the social and semantic web, the more their expectation will grow regarding the normality of its use. Those who cannot use it properly will be excluded. As ICT extends its reach beyond our own language borders, it births a hindrance. This impediment takes the form of an additional disability for people with impaired abilities learning second languages, especially English.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BD Speculative Philosophy / rendszeres filozófia > BD3 Philosophy of mind and spirit / szellem filozófiája
Depositing User: Dr Eva Gyarmathy
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 10:28
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2014 10:28

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