Short Title: aOSN-cp model to assist social media change
Strap line: An aOSN-cp model to support online social network users with cerebral palsy when providers introduce change.
Conference: 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN’12)
Type: Lecture | Session Length: 60 minutes
Date/Time: Friday, March 2, 2012 – 4:20 PM PST
Location: Madeleine CD, 3rd Floor
Session webpage: http://bit.ly/MakaylaLewis-CSUN12
Internet use in the United Kingdom is almost the highest in Europe, with over 65% of households accessing the Internet […]. Forty-nine percent of these users are using online social networks (OSNs) like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and YouTube and are now making over 24 million visits a month [1, 2, 3]. Nevertheless, OSNs are often directed at people without disabilities. Existing human-computer interaction (HCI) literature suggests that OSNs have the potential to help people with cerebral palsy (cp) to overcome their mobility, access and communication limitations to enable communication independence [4, 5]. As conventional communication methods like face-to-face communication, telephone communication and text message communication are often difficult to use and can limit the opportunities for these users to engage in successful socialization […]. Therefore people with cp often see online communication especially OSNs as an attractive alternative [5, 6]. In spite of this, there have been no studies that solely look at OSN experiences and challenges faced among users with cp. The goal of this research was to address this gap in the research to make this community visible.
An exploratory interview study was carried out. The study explored the experiences and challenges faced when users with cerebral palsy use OSNs. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were carried out consisting of participants with different types of cp. The study found, among other factors, that abrupt and frequently changing online social networks slowed down and or prevented use . For example during September 2011 Facebook.com introduced three functional changes that included a revamped friend lists, real-time news ticker and a subscribe button. Subsequently during the following month further changes that included a major overhaul of user profiles, new applications for playing music and watching videos were deployed. Such changes often affect assistive technology resulting in users relearning the number of clicks when using switches, making interacting with OSNs time-consuming. In spite of this, the study also identified that the technology is a vital way for users with cp to communicate with friends and family and would continue to play a key role within their lives.
To further explore the affects of abrupt and frequent changing OSNs a longitudinal web 2.0 monitoring and analysis study was carried out. The study identified how OSN Twitter.com changes, specially # Old Twitter to # New Twitter, are introduced, their affect on users, and the factors that encourage change acceptance and non-acceptance. More than 950,000 tweets mentioning #(hashtag) New Twitter were posted between September 2010 to February 2011, however the 60-minute lecturer will focus on 600 tweets from key discrete occasions: peaks. The results of the study were used alongside common change management approaches and theories to develop an innovative 5-stage process for online social network change (aOSNcp) for OSN change agents to follow. The process defines the requirements for successful online social network change including the OSN change agent responsibilities before, during and after the change.
The lecture will summarize the exploratory interview study; introduce the key inhibiting factor and the examination of New Twitter; and present the aOSN-cp process as a method to assist online social network providers during user interface change process without alienating users with cp. A video of Makayla’s lightning talk “Developing a 5-stage process for online social network change: a focus on users with cerebral palsy” at January’s Web Accessibility London meetup has been made available to summarize this lecture.[vimeo http://vimeo.com/37237102]
 eNation reports – Social networking sites lock out disabled users – AbilityNet. Available: http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/enation85 [1/28/2011, 2011].
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