Digital exclusion: coming out from behind closed doors

Watling, Sue (2011) Digital exclusion: coming out from behind closed doors. Disability and Society, 26 (4). pp. 491-495. ISSN 0968-7599

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Government visions of a digital future show little indication of how disabled people, reliant on access technology, will participate. Access technology has the potential to offer independent use of the Internet but many disabled people already face barriers that prevent them having equitable digital experiences. Multiple obstacles include high set-up costs, inadequate technical support and exclusive design practices. Due to the high levels of personalisation required, many disabled people are restricted to using computers at home. As a result their problems with access often remain unacknowledged and hidden behind closed doors. As online governance of welfare gathers pace, so greater awareness of the diversity of ways in which disabled people interact with digital environments is called for. Without this, government expansion into digital-only welfare risks isolating even further those who have the most to gain.

Keywords:digital inclusion, digital exclusion; accessibility; social inclusion; disabled people, digital welfare, service-user
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
L Social studies > L340 Disability in Society
Divisions:Professional services > Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute
ID Code:4512
Deposited On:01 Jun 2011 21:39

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