Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation

Conclusion: Collaborative Futures

The conclusion returns to the notion of "cultural accessibility" and considers some collaborative projects that incorporate disability as fundamental to extending digital media access.

Cultural accessibility is potentially valuable because it moves beyond narrow technocentric notions of accessibility, or accommodation, to address a range of factors relevant to the intersection of technologies, bodies, and cultures. In order to do this, any consideration of media access ought to look to the voices and needs of those who experience a lack of access. People with disabilities and the legacies of disability as a cultural category ought to remain visible in projects of cultural accessibility. This may be best done by pursuing cultural accessibility through participatory collaborations between users, policymakers, industries, nonprofits, and other stakeholders.

Dreamwidth, Easy Chirp, and Fix the Web are discussed as examples in this chapter.

Ultimately, this chapter concludes that access is not a prerequisite to participation—access and participation depend upon one another. Just as access enables participation, so does increased participation by diverse people in diverse contexts and practices make possible expansions of access.

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