February 1998

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Computer-Mediated Communication and Disability

by Jennifer Gold

In last month's issue, we began exploring the topic of computer-mediated communication and disability. We heard from three authors who contributed a variety of experiences and perspectives to the topic. In Electronic Parenting or, It Takes a (Listserv) Village to Raise Families with Disabilities, Dona Avery described the benefits and potential dangers of parents of children with disabilities interacting in a listserv environment. Anne Macleod reflected on the barriers associated with participation in ThinkQuest, an international educational Web design contest for her son in an article entitled Educational Equality on the Web. And finally, in Making Web Pages Universally Accessible, Sheryl Burgstahler raises issues surrounding the creation of Web pages to ensure equal access to all.

This month, we have extended the conversation further, hearing from authors sharing additional experiences and research on the topic. This issue explores the following important topics in the area of CMC and disability:

This issue culminates the special focus on CMC and disability, yet we do not want to have the conversation stop here. It is our belief that this is only a starting point for what we hope will trigger ongoing enlightenment, discussion and change. Should you wish to contribute an article on this topic to future issues of CMC Magazine, please send your ideas to the the editor at:

Jennifer Gold ( is a Research and Technology Specialist at Education Development Center, Inc., located in Newton, Massachusetts. She divides her time between three projects: The Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, the National Institute for Urban School Improvement, and Voice Recognition and Secondary Students with Disabilities. In addition, she is a contributing writer to CMC Magazine and will be editor of the February 1998 issue as well.

Copyright © 1998 by Jennifer Gold. All Rights Reserved.

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