Ellis and Goggin (2015) discuss that disability and the connotations that come with it are not an issue regarding the individual but rather an issue of the design. Particularly the design of society, society has taken what could simply be seen as a simple impairment is deemed as a disability as a result of social arrangements. Ellis and Goggin (2015) state that the way culture is built and its meanings and mechanisms are foundational to the creation of disability in society. In, forming an understanding of this present social reality for those who are deemed as “disabled” the question is raised as to the responsibility of “abled” individuals and media organisations to create experiences that are accessible for all users.
Initial notions discussed by Ellis and Goggin (2015) personally appeared to be far-fetched at the ideas that disability is not in fact disability. However further research through exploring “disability” within the media as mentioned in Jackson et al (2014) regarding the London Paralympics in 2012 discusses how the world-wide broadcasted event ultimately became a space to transform the perception of disabled people in society as well as having the potential to symbolically challenge ableist ideology and offer a reinvention of the disabled. This created an understanding that such “ableist” ideology indeed has a significant impact in the shaping the space that “disabled” individuals are able to engage with and in across the spheres of society; this reality is ultimately translated to affecting an individual’s digital engagement.
However as society becomes more aware of the responsibility of creating accessibility continues, rhetoric as to the importance of participation becomes increasingly amplified. A participatory culture as discussed by Jenkins et al (2015) must be intentional and create media spaces that hold meaning. Ellis and Goggin (2015) use Ramp Up a program established by the ABC to illustrate the significance of digital accessibility and media access for all individuals. Ramp Up is a participatory media space where people with disabilities are able to share stories and truths in an environment that allows disability to be bought to main screen media’s attention and provides a voice for the community.
Therefore it can be determined that to reduce the digital divide on all spectrum’s and create experiences that are accessible to those deemed “disabled” content that is created and the spaces that it is created within must be centred around a participatory culture that continuously brings “disability” into the limelight and is readily accessible in every aspect for such individuals.
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Image – My Mediated Life, 2017, ‘A Call Out Post to the Media‘ Affinity, viewed 25 August 2018 <https://mymediatedlifeblog.com/2017/01/16/considerations-of-digital-literacyies-in-a-climate-of-fake-news/>