Authors: Hemsley B, Palmer S, Dann S, Balandin S
Title: Using Twitter to access the human right of communication for people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Source: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 2018 20(1): 50-58
Year: 2018
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: Articles 19, 26 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 4, 9 and 21 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities promote the human rights of communication, education, use of technology and access to information. Social media is an important form of online communication, and Twitter increases users' visibility, influence and reach online. The aim of this sociotechnical research was to determine the impact of teaching three people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to use Twitter. Method: Three participants were trained in ways of using Twitter strategically. Data collected from participants' Twitter profiles were examined to determine the impact of training on Twitter follower count, frequency of tweeting, tweet content and the development of social networks. Data were also examined using (1) KH Coder software analysis and visualisation of co-occurring networks in the text data, based on word frequencies; and (2) Gephi software analysis to show the Twitter network for each participant. Result: Two participants showed an improvement in Twitter skills and strategies.Conclusions: Twitter can be used to improve social connectedness of people who use AAC, and should not be overlooked in relation to communication rights.

Access: Open Access