Image: Camilo Jimenez
Just Tech Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grant – Fall 2020


The Covid-19 pandemic brings many new challenges. While the internet and technology have promised to connect people and elevate quality of life, that has not been a case for differently abled communities. In response, we assess the usefulness of technologies for the differently abled in Indonesia and Vietnam to seek, use, and share information during the pandemic. We critically study the role of technological companies in facilitating diverse users to be digitally resilient during the pandemic. Practically, the findings can help generate viable ways of promoting alliances between private and public sectors in centering the need of the differently abled in emerging economies. Theoretically, the findings hold a promise to expand the existing approaches to explain digital resilience of differently abled communities living in different socio-political ecosystems in the global South.

Principal Investigators

Abdul Rohman

Lecturer and Researcher, RMIT

Abdul Rohman investigates communication and social change in Southeast Asia, primarily Indonesia and Vietnam. He has led projects related to peace education, political education, and the use of information communication technologies for social change in Indonesia. Abdul’s research interests revolve around the world of disadvantaged communities and grassroots organizations.

Dyah Pitaloka

Independent Researcher, Ronin Institute

Dyah Pitaloka researches inequalities, marginalization, and issues of community development and social justice in Southeast Asia, intercultural and cross-cultural communication in contemporary health care, and the impact of new media and technology on social change. The community-grounded projects that she conducted look at how cultural meanings are negotiated and co-constructed by community members in their interactions with various social, structural, educational, economic, religious, and policy contexts that surround their lives.