Rebooting Inclusive Education? New Technologies and Disabled People
This paper provides a speculative, conceptual and literature-based review of the relationship between disability and new technologies with a specific focus on inclusive education for disabled people. The first section critically explores disability and new technologies in a time of Industry 4.0. We lay out some concerns that we have, especially in relation to disabled people’s peripheral positionality, when it comes to these new developments. The second section focuses on the area of inclusive education. Inclusion and education are oftentimes in conflict with one another. We tease out these conflicts and argue that we cannot decouple the promise of new technologies from the challenges of inclusive education, because, in spite of the potential for technological mediation to broaden access to education, there remains deep-rooted problems with exclusion. The third section of our paper explores affirmative possibilities in relation to the interactions between disability and new technologies. We draw on the theoretical fields of Science and Technology Studies; Critical Disability Studies; Assistive and Inclusive Technologies; Collaborative Robotics, Maker and DIY Cultures and identify a number of key considerations that relate directly to the revaluing of inclusive education. We conclude our paper by identifying what we view as pressing and immediate concerns for inclusive educators when considering the merging of disability and technology, accessibility and learning design.
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