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The Digital Turn: User’s Practices and Cultural Transformations

Edited By Pille Runnel, Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Piret Viires and Marin Laak

By combining the analysis of the new forms and environments of the digital world with critical scholarship of the role of the users, this book argues that cultural field is facing a challenge of the digital turn. The digital turn hereby implies that changes in the use and application of digital technology bring on changes in practice and in the relationships between cultural institutions and audiences. We approach the changes in society from the structural (institutional) as well as from the agential (audiences, users, individuals) perspective. The authors represented in this book share the view that there is no need to fear the new media pushing aside traditional cultural forms, acknowledging at the same time that the scope of this cultural change is far from understood.

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Accessible Digital Culture for Disabled People. Marcus Weisen

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191 Accessible Digital Culture for Disabled People Marcus Weisen Director Jodi Mattes Trust for Accessible Digital Culture Jouanvins 07160 Le Cheylard France marcus.weisen1@gmail.com www.jodiawards.org.uk 1. Introduction: The digital revolution – freedoms that exclude The impact of the digital revolution is of a magnitude at least that of the Gutenberg printing revolution. It profoundly affects the way we learn, shape our thoughts and query reality. The production and presentation of culture is being re-shaped in myriad ways. Information is instantly accessible. Almost boundless freedoms have emerged for people to engage with culture in ever new personalised ways through the digital media. But are these freedoms granted in equal measure to all citizen? In spite of the extent and depth of the changes, there has barely been any dis- cussion in the cultural sector worldwide about the accessibility of: • digital media for disabled people, as users and creators; • digital content, such as website information, online collections and learning resources, mobile interpretative tours and cultural productions. It is widely known that digital technology has enhanced opportunities for learning and employment for a number of disabled people, who enjoy access, to varying degrees, to assistive technology. That’s only one side of the picture (and a one-sided one). Far less known is that fact that the web and digital technology are spaces full of pervasive barriers. An audit of web accessibility published in 2005 by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, England showed that disabled people face 216 potential stumbling blocks on the average cultural...

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