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Flinders and SA Unis collaborate for social media study on rural disabled

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By Steven Raeburn, N/A

April 22, 2013 | 2 min read

Flinders University are investigating how social media can help young people with disabilities in rural and regional areas build their social networks and reduce loneliness and isolation.

Flinders Uni will work with University of South Australia

A study in collaboration with the University of South Australia aims to help a study group of young people from Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln become familiar with the internet and social media.

"There is research to show there's more social isolation in regional areas, where there is also reduced access to technology and other resources," said Flinders’ Disability and Community Inclusion Unit senior lecturer Pammi Raghavendra

"The internet is a core part of all of our lives. It's not just for social networking – it's for education, for learning, recreation and leisure, and we use it to manage our finances. If we're not providing support, access and training to people with disabilities, we are disadvantaging them from the use of this mainstream, inclusive technology,” she said.

Dr Raghavendra previously carried out a similar study in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

The project has an award of $204,000 from the Federal Government's National Disability Research and Development Grants, and $30,000 from the State Government's Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.

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