Bringing actors together : ICT, disabillity and pupils in special school

Sammanfattning: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is part of everyday life in various ways. This thesis focuses on the connection between disability and ICT among pupils with intellectual disabilities and on ways for researcher to study human and technology. The aim has been to study how ICT, agency and disability become constructed in a collective made up by actors such as humans (pupils with intellectual disabilities) and non-humans (computers, mobile phones, policy-documents).Two studies at two schools (totally the studies included nine classes) in the Norrbotten area in Sweden were conducted as a way to disentangle the aim and research questions. The studies which underlie this thesis are based on observations and interviews among six pupils in three classes in their everyday schooldays. Additionally an analysis of Bill 2004/05:175 was conducted.The thesis presents reviews of theoretical and methodological resources from disability studies, feminist studies and science and technology studies, Actor-Network Theory in particular, as well as an analysis of selected empirical material from the classes and Bill 2004/05:175. The analysis was conducted through themes, namely the following: introducing the classes, the schooldays and the school setting, the pupils' everyday life in school, the policy and understanding about intellectual disability among pupils, using ICT during the schooldays, ICT in everyday life, the youths' views of the computer, the ICT policies in Sweden and a sustainable ICT society for all.The main findings present how pupils with intellectual disability live disability, how the pupils regard disability and technology (express disability and technology to be). The thesis additionally explores how the pupils talk about themselves as users and how this in turn also relates to policy practices (more specifically, on the expressions in various statements in the bill and its focus on use, user and access). Another concern is how disability becomes intertwined with technology. Moreover, the thesis explores how actors in a form of collective bear effects on the body and its intertwining with disability and technology. Additionally, it examines the ways the pupils see themselves and how they act. The study shows that forms of unity as well as differences regarding access and users of ICT are found in the practice of policy-making as well as in the pupils' practices. The thesis additionally disentangles how one as a researcher can give voice to human and technology interaction when researching disabled pupils' agency and subjectivity. Thus, the thesis explores ways for researchers to study human and technology without relying on boundaries between them while at the same time being responsible in her/his claims. Here the work draws upon work from feminist studies; an inspirational source is Donna Haraway and more specifically her concept of situated knowledge.