Digital technologies and cultural participation for people with intellectual disabilities
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Research on the aspirations of people with intellectual disabilities documents the importance of alternative zones of inclusion where they can assert their own definitions of ability and normality. This stands in contrast to assumptions concerning technology and disability that position technology as 'normalizing' the disabled body. This paper reports on the role of a digital music jamming tool in providing access to creative practice by people with intellectual disabilities. The tool contributed to the development of a spatio-temporal zone to enable aesthetic agency within and beyond the contexts of deinstitutionalized care. The research identifies the interactions between tools, individuals and groups that facilitated participants' agency in shaping the form of musical practice. Furthermore, we document the properties of emergent interaction - supported by a tool oriented to enabling music improvisation - as potentially resisting assumptions regarding normalization.
New Media & Society
© 2012 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.