Digital participation and disability

John McMorrine

Abstract
Digital participation among adults with disabilities is lower than it is among the general population. These findings suggest that there are four main barriers keeping people with disabilities from participating digitally: lack of access to computers, lack of opportunity to acquire digital skills, lack of motivation to engage with technology, and lack of trust towards technology and the internet.
Keywords
Digital participation, Digital inclusion, Digital exclusion, Access, Digital skills, Motivation
Key Points
  • The cost of computers and of assistive technology can lead to digital exclusion for adults with disabilities. Grants/subsidies should be provided by the government
  • The internet is not accessible enough to meet the needs of people with disabilities and current legislation should be enforced
  • Disabled people may not have access to digital training opportunities. Digital skills trainers may not have the expertise to help them learn/ use assistive technology. Social carers should be trained to deliver training to disabled people
  • Ignorance of the benefits of digital participation and mistrusting the Internet means people do not want to participate digitally. People should be educated in this