Community building and knowledge sharing by individuals with disabilities using social media Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd The use of social media to share information, enhance learning, and connect with an online community has grown rapidly over the past 10 years. As social media becomes a more common tool in both formal and informal education, it is imperative to understand how it is used by individuals with disabilities. Through a systematic study of the literature, 215 articles on social media used by individuals with disabilities were selected and 29 selected for in-depth thematic analysis. Six major themes were identified: community, cyberbullying, self-esteem, self-determination, access to technology, and accessibility. To confirm these six categories, we expanded our search, yielding an additional 30 articles, for a total 59 articles reviewed in-depth. Interactions between individuals with disabilities within online communities often had the goal of acquiring knowledge or learning new information. A communities of practice theoretical framework is used to discuss interactions among the elements of social media design, learning, and the building of community by individuals with disabilities.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Sweet, K. S., LeBlanc, J. K., Stough, L. M., & Sweany, N. W.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Sweet, Kayla S||LeBlanc, Jennifer K||Stough, Laura M||Sweany, Noelle W

publication date

  • February 2020