Major research projects undertaken by the Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication provide an important focal point for the research work of its affiliates, staff and AUT academics who share an interest in its research areas.

The Institute is active in developing projects which reflect and examine the range of these research areas. Notable project work includes:

Latest project: People with disabilities and their internet use

With so many activities being conducted through the online environment today it is easy to take the internet for granted.  But for people with disabilities there are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using various digital technologies, platforms and devices. This study involved interviews with 11 New Zealanders with disabilities who were aged 45 years and older.  We wanted to hear their views on the impact of the internet – what was life like for them both before and after the advent of the internet in New Zealand?  What did they use the internet for, and what barriers did they encounter in their internet use?

Read about the findings of this research and our recommendations in the report here which has been formatted to web accessibility standards for people with vision impairment.

For more information please contact the principal investigator Dr Philippa Smith at