Mediating Disability in the Digital Era: The Mass Media and Equality in Education

A special issue of JORSEN in conjunction with the Cultural Disability Studies Research Network planned for 2012       

This special journal issue seeks to offer the space for those committed to social justice through inclusive education to reflect upon the presence of digital media in the classroom and professional practice.

Digital media here is taken to include traditional media forms that are being digitised or are now produced in digitised forms and what has been termed ‘new media’ e.g. social networking sites.

In Cultural Locations of Disability Snyder and Mitchell note that “we primarily come to know disabled people, both historically and in our own moment, through representations of their lives, experiences, and bodies that have been manufactured by those outside of the immediate disability experience” (2006:19). Furthermore, this is done without consideration of how the mode of mediation constructs how we can know the disability experience being represented. In view of this, this journal issue asks educators, practitioners and pedagogic, disability and cultural researchers to consider the changes that access to, and dissemination through, digital mediums have afforded for how we can understand the experience and cultural construction of disability.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
How digital media has helped to reveal exclusionary practice within educational settings;
How digital media has afforded voices to those previously only addressed as anonymised research subjects;
How digital media enables the inclusion of marginalised perspectives within the inclusive education agenda;
How digital media has afforded knowledge exchange across transnational borders;
The use of advocacy and activist websites, blogs and forums in classroom practice;
The impact of social networking sites on the awareness and rise of sexual rights for those previously excluded from access to sexual citizenship;
The representation of disability in digitised forms;
The impact of increased accessibility to media coming from a social model perspective.


Please submit articles to by email to Sue Ralph, Editor, JORSEN by 1st August 2011

Prof. Sue Ralph. Visiting Professor in Special and Inclusive Education. CeSNER, University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL. Email:


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