Digital Platforms and Disability in France
24 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2019
Date Written: December 21, 2018
Digital technologies offer a wide range of possibilities to address problems related with social, economic and political exclusion. During the recent decade, innovations exploring such possibilities have been termed “digital social innovations” (DSI) and have attracted significant entrepreneurial activity, public support and civic engagement across Europe. In this paper, based on six cases of DSI aimed at social inclusion of people with disabilities in France, we discuss their potential implications in reshaping the boundaries between established dualisms such as “disabled and abled” or “normal and deviant”, by interpreting the cases from a social practice perspective. In so doing, we consider whether, and if so in which ways they can overcome material, meaning and competence related obstacles in established social practices. The conceptual discussions point to the necessity of supportive complementary policies and actions by policy makers and digital platform managers. In particular, we underline the need for policies to improve the digital literacy of people with disabilities, collaborate with traditional offline advocacy networks and link with social movements to increase general awareness, so that digital platforms for disability can have a more effective role in transformative social change.
Keywords: digital social innovation, disability, social practices, exclusion
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