How micro-blogging website Twitter can be helpful to people who have experienced cerebral palsy, strokes, autism, traumatic brain injury and motor neurone disease, to find a “voice“, as revealed by Australian researchers
As per the initial findings, it has indicated that Twitter can help those people who are with communication disabilities to share information and feel more included in the socially by expressing themselves.
From University of Newcastle, lead researcher and speech pathologist Bronwyn Hemsley explained , “We are seeing that Twitter can not only provide a ‘voice‘ for people with communication disabilities, but also an ‘audience’ – and this helps them to feel empowered and in control of their own lives”.
According to researchers, already assistive technologies has been used by many people with communication disabilities as they knew how to make their communication short and clearly expressed. Hence they are therefore tended to flourish on Twitter.
Most often, people with bit or no functional speech are being assisted by their listeners who try to finish their sentences for them or sometimes they speak on behalf of them, making their life dependent.
In a university statement Hemsley said “They are used to crafting short messages carefully. Where other users might be at a disadvantage by 140 character limits, people who struggle to speak might have had lifelong practice in making every word count”.
She noted, Twitter will help those people in liberating from stereotypes and enabling self-advocacy in many ways.
Thus they will be able to represent themselves and put their views or interests.
The second phase of the three-year project will be soon embark by the research team, so as to investigate that over a six month period what will be the benefits of online Twitter training, how networks can be developed and how people having communication disabilities will be experiencing Twitter.
Adults with cerebral palsy, autism, stroke, motor neurone disease or traumatic brain injury will be involved in the further research.