How does risk mediate the ability of adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live a normal life by using the Internet?
Vol. 11No. 1 (2017) Special issue: Internet use and disability
The focus of this position paper is Internet use by adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Drawing on existing literature in the field we will identify problems with and gaps in the current research. Our review is framed by three main questions: What constitutes a ‘normal’ life for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities? What constitutes ‘normal’ use of the Internet for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities? How does risk mediate the ability of adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live a normal life by using the Internet? The key focus of this review is the complex relationship between adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those providing support; how they negotiate access to and use of the Internet and how perceptions regarding risk and normalcy mediate this negotiation. As a result of this review we will argue that identified gaps and problems in the research field need to be addressed by expanding both methodological and conceptual approaches. In particular we will propose the need for more in-depth qualitative research that is inclusive in nature. We will also propose that an adapted positive risk-taking framework might be useful in framing the design, implementation and analysis of future research.
intellectual and developmental disabilities, adolescents, adults, Internet, digital inclusion, risk, positive risk-taking
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