by Mike Gulliver

It's not often that you get the opportunity to shape the entire research direction of a university department... However, that's something that's happening at the ILRT in Bristol, where a wide ranging re-deployment of staff and of mandate means that the department that I work in has begun to cast around for new avenues to explore.

Voilà... up goes my hand (metaphorically) with the proposal that a Special Interest Group be set up to look at the way that humans interact with technologies... Not very exciting or innovative (or relevant to DEAF space) you might think until you consider that things like the Internet are not just 'there'... they have been designed with preconceived ideas in mind about how humans behave, and the skills that they have.

For example, have you ever noticed just how much of the Internet is 'text' based... and that 'text' is assumed to mean words... like the ones I'm writing now... and then wondered how much of that 'text' is inaccessible to those who (in the UK at least) have been failed by the education system?

... that's the content... and then there's the medium. What would the Internet look like if it had been invented and pursued by DEAF people?

OK... the SIG's not even off the ground yet, but there is already a feeling that it offers DEAF space yet another way to fundamentally challenge some of the taken-for-granteds of the hearing-authored world.

Watch this space...


    Austin Kocher
    Deaf Geography
    Deaf Space


    March 2012
    October 2011
    September 2011
    May 2011