Teachers' perceptions of virtual worlds as a medium for social inclusion for adults with intellectual disability

Balandin, Susan and Molka-Danielsen, Judith 2015, Teachers' perceptions of virtual worlds as a medium for social inclusion for adults with intellectual disability, Disability and rehabilitation, vol. 37, no. 17, Special Issue : Social Media and Communication, pp. 1543-1550, doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1052574.

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Title Teachers' perceptions of virtual worlds as a medium for social inclusion for adults with intellectual disability
Author(s) Balandin, SusanORCID iD for Balandin, Susan orcid.org/0000-0003-4765-8232
Molka-Danielsen, Judith
Journal name Disability and rehabilitation
Volume number 37
Issue number 17
Season Special Issue : Social Media and Communication
Start page 1543
End page 1550
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1464-5165
Keyword(s) educators
intellectual disability
second life
social inclusion
virtual world
Summary PURPOSE: The aim of this research was to explore educators' perceptions of a virtual world Second Life TM as an environment for social interaction and social inclusion for the Norwegian adult students with intellectual disability that they supported.

METHOD: Five educators who supported a total of 10 adult students with intellectual disability in computer classes in community Adult Education Centres participated in individual in-depth interviews. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a content analysis.

RESULTS: Participants were positive about Second Life although they did not perceive that it offered a successful context for social interaction or inclusion. They identified a number of benefits to using a virtual world and for students participating in virtual world research. Barriers identified included language, literacy, and technology issues along with the complexity of participating independently in a virtual world.

CONCLUSIONS: Some people with intellectual disability can use virtual worlds but the skills required need additional research. Virtual worlds may provide a stimulating, safe, and exciting context for a range of activities but the level of support required by many people is high and consequently expensive.
Language eng
DOI 10.3109/09638288.2015.1052574
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Informa UK
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077912

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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