Types of Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion is increasingly used for social, educational, political, and economic reasons. There is an understanding that many people are left behind without this access. This then hinders them from enjoying the benefits of new technology, alleviating some of life’s daily struggles, and improving the quality of their lives.

The following are the main types of digital inclusion:

Physical Access

Physical access refers to people’s ability to access technology. For example, having the right hardware or simply being near enough to a public library or internet café.

The ADA compliance act requires all digital communication mediums to undergo accessibility testing. This is important because, without the necessary equipment, it would be very difficult for people to benefit from digital technology. Physical access is also related to mobile phones and smartphones.

Social Access

Technology is vital component of life for those living with disabilities. Use of this technology is not always easy and can be made easier through digital inclusion and improved social access. Social accessibility is about having the skills, knowledge, and confidence to use digital technology. The aforementioned skills may be lacking due to a lack of prior exposure to the technology which renders the person too apprehensive or intimidated to try it out.

Economic Access

Economic access refers to how people’s incomes or credit scores may prevent them from accessing digital technology. A person might not have a bank account and therefore might be limited to cash purchases. This could make obtaining a mobile phone or laptop difficult because they would need access to a credit card.

Political Access

Political access refers to how people can participate in society through digital technology. There is an understanding that as technology becomes more widespread, it will become more integrated into people’s daily lives. Most citizens will rely on using it somehow. So, for example, voting or petitioning might depend on a person’s access to this technology, such as having internet access at home.

Due to the rapid evolution of digital technology, everyone needs to be digitally literate. This is because every day, new digital products appear on the market. Digital literacy allows us to use them and find new information on the internet.

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