Constructing Disability in Online Worlds; Conceptualising Disability in Online Research

Part of the Springer Series in Immersive Environments book series (SSIE)


In this chapter the online construction of disability is investigated, and the implications for educators working in virtual worlds are considered. Based on the analysis of data collected through interviews with deaf residents of Second LifeTM, it is argued that research into online identity, disability and education needs to allow room for self-description, and that educators need to recognise the power relations that can lurk within practices of provision or accessibility support. Working through these issues involves reconciling Disability Studies with e-learning and accessibility perspectives. It is proposed that strategies that would support this reconciliation might be found in recent literature on disability and technology.


Virtual World Sign Language Disable People Deaf People Deaf Community 



This chapter was first published as Carr, D. (2010) ‘Constructing disability in online worlds: conceptualising disability in online research’ in London Review of Education Special Issue ‘Being Online: A Critical View of Identity and Subjectivity in New Virtual Learning Spaces 8: 1, pp 51–61. © Institute of Education, University of London and is republished with minor edits by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd on behalf of Institute of Education, University of London.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Media and Cultural Studies, Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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