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Restricted Access

Restricted Access
Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation

First Edition
  • Elizabeth Ellcessor - Assistant Professor, Cinema and Media Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington

October 2017 | 264 pages | SAGE Vistaar

Digital media offers many opportunities for civic and cultural participation. This technology is not equally easy for everyone to use. Often, people with disabilities require accommodation, assistive technologies, or other forms of aid to make digital media accessible for them, but are unable to obtain them.

Restricted Access investigates digital media accessibility—the processes by which media is made usable by people with specific needs—and argues for creating access to enable greater participation in all forms of mediated culture. It argues that if digital media leads to opportunities for individuals to create and participate, but the technology only facilitates the participation of the privileged, then its progressive potential remains unrealized. The book demonstrates the importance of alternate uses, marginalized voices, and invisible innovations in the context of disability identities and asks for a rethink on digital media accessibility.

Introduction: Interrogating and Integrating Access
Regulating Digital Media Accessibility: #CaptionTHIS
You Already Know How to Use It: Technology, Disability, and Participation
Transformers: Accessibility, Style, and Adaptation
Content Warnings: Struggles over Meaning, Rights, and Equality
The Net Experience: Intersectional Identities and Cultural Accessibility
Conclusion: Collaborative Futures
Appendix: Ethnographic Research, Interviews, and Selected Blogs

“… transforms our understanding of what “access” means … Elizabeth Ellcessor reveals the ways in which ability, culture, and technology are all entangled in questions of accessibility … Ellcessor’s book is a major advance in media studies and disability studies, and will also be of great interest to scholars in policy.”

Jonathan Sterne,
Author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format

Elizabeth Ellcessor

Elizabeth Ellcessor is Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the Media School at Indiana University–Bloomington. Her research focuses on disability, digital media, and access as they relate to public politics, cultural engagement, and participation. In a previous life, she was a web developer for a nonprofit organization. More About Author

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ISBN: 9789352800308