chapter  8
Unless you go online you’re on your own
Blogging as a bridge in para-sport
ByAndrea Bundon, Laura Hurd Clarke
Pages 16

This chapter discusses how para-sport networks are capitalizing on the affordances of Web-based communication. It draws on Putnam's description of bridging and bonding social capital to explain how the Web has changed the ability of individuals with disabilities to access information about para-sport. The chapter illustrates the important function of online communication in providing para-sport athletes with supportive networks and as a means of reaching out to other individuals with disabilities. It discusses the emerging uses of social media and digital communication within the Paralympic Movement. The chapter provides data from questions pertaining to how individuals became involved in para-sport, the role of family and others in facilitating their involvement and conditions that assisted or impeded their sport involvement. It acknowledges the limitations of the work, including the fact that the participants were recruited online and therefore were regular Internet users who were already proficient at communicating online.