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A model for the development of virtual communities for people with long-term, severe physical disabilities

Tilley, Christine M., Bruce, Christine S., Hallam, Gillian C., & Hills, Andrew P. (2006) A model for the development of virtual communities for people with long-term, severe physical disabilities. Information Research: an international electronic journal, 11(3).

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Abstract

Introduction. This paper reports results of an investigation into the needs of persons with disabilities wanting to participate in the use of virtual communities. The aim was to investigate 'how virtual communities for persons with long-term, severe physical disabilities can best be facilitated'? Method. A Grounded Theory approach was adopted to inform the investigation. In-depth interviews were conducted with twelve persons with paraplegia, quadriplegia or other severe, long-term physical or mobility disabilities and six health care professionals, service providers, information personnel and policy advisers who were involved in their well-being. Analysis. Rich explanations were derived about the information and communication technology (ICT) usage and the technologies' contributions towards restoration of sense of control over their lives. Results. The primary outcome of the investigation is a theory regarding the character of virtual communities for the disabled. The theory is represented as a Virtual Community Model. The model identifies: the need for 'a sense of control' as the foundation element of virtual communities for the disabled; the key domains in which disabled people participate in virtual communities; and the barriers and enablers to their participation. Conclusion. The model provides a framework which can be used by interest groups and other organizations to facilitate the development of virtual communities for persons with severe physical disabilities. The six key types of community need to be represented in such virtual communities if a full 'sense of control' is to be achieved by disabled persons.

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ID Code: 10706
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This paper is freely available on the publisher's website - see "Official URL" above.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: INFORMATION
ISSN: 1368-1613
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 University of Sheffield, Department of Information Studies
Deposited On: 14 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:20

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