“Increased Access and Use of Disability Related Information for Consumers”

I’m working through full-text screening in a systematic review and came across an article that I just had to write a post about!

Fullmer S, & Majumder RK. (1991). Increased access and use of disability related information for consumers. Journal of Rehabilitation, 57(3), 17–22. cin20.

This article describes how access to computers, modems and the bulletin board sites has made a huge impact on the availability of information for people with disability and their supporters. In the current context of so much telehealth and teaching, learning and social interaction relying on online platforms it is so interesting to reflect on this!

Table 1, Fullmer S & Majumder RK, 1991, p. 19

The article provides a list of direct numbers to bulletin boards as well as a step by step guide to setting up and connecting.

Step 1: For Auto-Dial and Direct Connect Manual-Dial Modems
Step 2: Connect the modem to the computer
Step 3: Load and run the communications software
Step 4: Examine the communications parameters
Step 5: Making the Connection

It so interesting that this step-by-step guide should be published in a peer-reviewed journal and can’t help wondering who the target audience was and whether the people who really needed this information (people with disabilities) could access it??

The technical means to transfer information has been successfully developed. The cost of using this technology is steadily decreasing… l rehabilitation service as part of the client’s rehabilitation plan. The information age can be of particular benefit to persons with disabilities. The present article has described the doorway through which information can be exchanged.

Fullmer S & Majumder RK, 1991, p. 21

Nearly 30 years later, my research will investigate information access for people with lifelong disability and communication disability. Part of my systematic review will look for what progress has been made in relation to how people access, understand, appraise and use health information and how their health literacy has been supported. I am hoping that in 30 years since all these online bulletin boards emerged has seen huge progress… hoping!

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