The use of electronic assistive technology for social networking by people with disability living in shared supported accommodation Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Background: This study aimed to examine use of electronic assistive technology for social networking by people with disability living in shared supported accommodation (SSA), and compare participants' Electronic Social Networking (ESN) integration with Australian ESN normative data.Method: Telephone surveys and the ESN subscale of the Community Integration Questionnaire-Revised (CIQ-R) were administered with SSA managers. Surveys gathered demographic data, and data on Internet access, technology use and ESN integration, of 91 people with disability who were identified technology users and living in SSA. Participant ESN data were then matched with existing CIQ-R ESN normative data (N = 359). Relative risk of reduced ESN integration was calculated.Results: This study identified that, despite access to mainstream technologies, people with disability living in SSA experience low ESN integration, and use ESN for social contact less than other Australians. This group were 210% more likely to report reduced ESN integration than the matched normative sample when key demographic variables were held constant.Conclusions: Factors related to disability, including high care and support needs and greater time spent completing essential activities of daily living (such as personal care), may explain the low electronic social networking integration for people with disability living in SSA identified in this study. Further research that examines factors that influence ESN access and use following disability is necessary to inform practice to bridge the digital divide that exists between this group and other Australians.

publication date

  • 2020