The utilisation of social media among users with hearing loss. An analysis of facebook communities
Universal Access in the Information Society
Year of publication
Due to the ubiquitous use of social media, our aim was to examine how social media communities are being accessed, created and maintained by D/deaf and hard of hearing users. We examined 133 social media communities of the D/deaf and hard of hearing from three main aspects: relational, substantive and technical aspects. The analysis included the size, strength, organisation and content nature of communities, members’ communication and accessibility of the platform, as well as its availability, attention and response indicators. Firstly, most communities were found to be small, containing less than 500 members, being determined regionally and led mainly by organisations with an aim to create awareness among members. Secondly, members communicate mostly in written language and use sign language to a lesser extent. Thirdly, Facebook provides advantageous opportunities for D/deaf and hard of hearing users in terms of availability of captions/subtitles in videos on demand and live videos. The findings may serve educators, social practitioners and representatives of deaf clubs to get acknowledged with the functioning of social media communities, allowing the D/deaf and hard of hearing to be connected to each other in a more efficient way beyond Facebook as well.