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Submissions/Disability: rights, access and awareness

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 7010
Title of the submission
Disability: rights, access and awareness
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Bethann Siviter
E-mail address
Country of origin
UK/ England
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
Disability affects millions worldwide; the social model of disability links access with equality. The internet (in its widest definition including the www/etc) has a wide information base (including Wikipedia) and commercial/ economic applications that could improve understanding/ awareness of disability, improved access to work, shopping and social engagement, and lead to social acceptance, accommodation and understanding of disability. Yet, content, processes and/or applications are not always genuinely accessible whether due to ignorance or lack of concern. Whilst being disadvantaged in some areas, communities of disabled people are increasingly using the internet to illustrate the obstacles they face, from harassment at work to abuse of disabled parking. In the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, and many national laws, systemic accessibility failures may be considered discriminatory. Is it time for greater action to ensure equal access or is accommodation for disability beyond the remit of an international forum encompassing a wide group of people with diverse values, needs and opinions? This presentation will look at disability/related issues through the window of the internet and wikipedia, starting with the social definition of disability (Disability exists due to the failure of society to be accessible and accepting, not due to the individual) and concluding with examples of access problems and good practice.

The purpose is to raise awareness about disability in context of the internet. This is not an academic treatise; it will use internationally relevant guidance/research to illustrate simple obstacles disabled people face online, offer discussion on alternatives, and show how disabled people use the internet to improve their lives, all hopefully with humour, insight and helpful recommendations. Can the internet both be and promote a world where disabled people are genuinely equal? If yes (or even maybe) how?

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Need an accessible room (for presenter and for audience) and AV (powerpoint, sadly)

Interested attendees

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  1. Lawsonstu (talk) 12:07, 12 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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  3. Quiddity (talk) 19:23, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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