Tuesday, 31 January

How related is disability, digitization and access

Feature Article
People With Disability

Digitization is the process of converting something to digital form. 

This is a process that is characterized by electronic and especially computerized technology.

Currently in the world, especially in Ghana, there are a lot of activities and documents that have been migrated onto digital platforms. 

There is digital equipment in almost every home. 

Digital technology has been described as a facilitator of social inclusion, because, it allows for the delivery of real-time services that can enable individuals to learn, work, travel, socialize, shop and interact with the community without being subject to physical barriers. 

Digital technology has also been identified as one of the most important factors that can contribute to reducing existing social gaps and can be used to encourage and promote social inclusion and increase people’s quality of life. 

As digital technology has been acknowledged as promoting social inclusion and preventing several barriers, one needs to understand that this does not transcend everyone. 

Even though many of the world’s population use digital devices, not everybody owns one or knows how to use it.

 There are a group of people who go through several barriers which include, transportation, architecture, information, occupational, sports and to mention but a few. However, not all these barriers are curtailed by the increased level of digitization. 

Information, occupational, education and others still are problems for persons with a disability even with the rise of digitization in the country. 

The question is whether the increased level of digitization alleviate the problems that persons with disability go through. 

The other question is whether persons with disability can access and use these digital devices. Persons with disability are not readily employed and so do not have much money to take care of themselves and to use some to patronize digital devices. 

Access to digital devices is an important factor because if the person does not have access to the digital device, it will be difficult for the person to know how to use it. 

This issue is essential because persons with disability owning their own devices other than using other people’s own will help them in their use of those devices. 

Access to those devices becomes a starting point for them to decide on what to use them for and how to use them.

It is therefore necessary for persons with disability to have the means to patronize these devices.

 If they are to work to be able to buy them, then job opportunities should be offered to them for them to be able to earn some money to cater for themselves and to afford some of these digital devices.  

Let us try and bridge the digital divide gap and come together and make digital devices accessible to persons with disability.

Source: Mavis Yaa Konadu Agyemang