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2023 - ICT and older adults in the City of Whittlesea ︎

Bernardo Figueiredo, Rachel Peile, Torgeir Aleti, Mike Reid, Diane Martin, Larissa Hjorth, Jacob Sheahan, Mark Buschgens, Glen Wall & Anne Grigg

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how digital engagement is crucial for fostering social inclusion for older adults. It provides them with the capacity to take up information and communication technologies (ICT) which is critical to their wellbeing and enables them to navigate barriers. This report addresses three topics of interest to the City of Whittlesea for the development of support programs for older adults - aspirations of older adults to adopt technology, barriers preventing older adults from taking up technology, and strategies to support older adults..

2022 - Co-creating ICT Risk Strategies with Older Australians: A workshop model ︎

Sheahan, J., Hjorth, L., Figueiredo, B., Martin, D., Reid, M., Aleti, T., & Buschgens, M.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
As digital inclusion becomes a growing indicator of health and social wellbeing in later life, the need for older adults to adopt Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and develop digital literacy sees them face barriers (such as their perceived ICT risks and capacity to learn). This article describes the results of a series of co-design workshops conducted with older adults to develop strategies that support those in later life to use ICT and reduce their perceived risks around it. We argue that by using co-designed persona methods, we can develop more nuanced ICT risk strategies that are built with and for older adults.

2022 - Designing for Social Engagement in Later Life ︎

Sheahan, J. 

PhD Thesis, RMIT University
This dissertation explores the design of social engagement technologies for later life, demonstrating how drifting with uncertainty could support Interaction Designers in co-creating with ageing communities. Situated at the intersection of ageing and technology, this research speaks to two collaborative interdisciplinary projects that interrogate how Interaction Designers can move beyond perpetuating the digital divide and uneven social participation for older adults. Considering how the phenomenon of the digital divide has been magnified for older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, this dissertation addresses the lack of understanding around the characteristics and implications of social engagement technologies in later life.

The future of work is a context that is rapidly being shaped by powerful forces; the growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, the increasing casualisation of the workforce, and the decentralised nature of where and how ‘work’ is being performed. This report, The Future of Work, centres on research and case studies that speculate the issues facing all workers in the workplaces of tomorrow.

2022 - Gaining Resolution when Creating Imagery of Aging ︎ 

Sheahan., J.

Frontiers in Sociology
In seeking to support healthy ageing, designers have struggled to reduce their assumptions and biases towards older adults, interpret the worlds of later life through unfiltered imagery, engage with stigmas, and ultimately diminish the technologies they construct. Towards this, I proposition ‘resolution’ as a concept indicative of the level of detail and fidelity that representations of later life have. Thhis subject is explored through a cultural probe study that investigated the sentiments of several older Australians on social technologies.

I acknowledge the peoples on whose lands I conduct my work, and respectfully acknowledge  Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

©2023 Jacob Sheahan