Saturday, 03 June

How to achieve digital inclusion for Persons With Disability

Feature Article
Avancing digital inclusion for PWDs

A lot has been said and is still being discussed about digital inclusion. Digital inclusion is an increasingly important social issue, reflecting imperatives, opportunities and considerations about human rights, equity, issues of identity, language, social participation, community and civic engagement and opportunity in the digital world (Castells, 1997, Warshaw, 2008).

The use of technology to communicate has become an essential and socially acceptable aspect of most people’s lives and it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the digital world and the real world (Helsper, 2008, Ritchie& Blanck, 2003).

Digitization has become part of our daily lives.

It spans through almost every sphere of life and this includes but are not limited to social, financial, economic, and education. We use digital devices everywhere in the world and in every country.

It has now become an important aspect of human life such that without it, one feels his or her life is not complete. It has become imperative for people to own digital devices so they can go through their lives smoothly.

Digital devices are meant for the use of almost everyone, both the abled and the disabled. Digital devices have become such that it is meant for anyone who can afford and use it.

Persons with disability are less likely to be employed and so might not earn much to cater for themselves and to be able to patronize some of these digital devices since some are expensive.

However, some persons with disability have some of these digital devices but do not know how to use them. Also, some are eager to use these digital devices but are having challenges on how to use them since some of these digital devices are not disability friendly.

Not only physical structures are to be disability friendly but digital devices as well.

A lot of persons with disability are not able to use their digital devices not because they cannot afford them but because there are no applications on them that can help them use those devices.

The technology trends that are used to develop these technological applications should be examined.

The development of technological applications should focus on the social inclusion of persons with disability. Certain applications which include speech recognition, technology, adaptive technology, assistive technology and mention but a few, should be considered in the development of technological devices so that our dear brothers and sisters with a disability can find it much easier to use these digital devices.

This is a call on all stakeholders in the technological fraternity and other people of influence to make sure the necessary changes are being made in the development of digital devices.

Source: Mavis Yaa Konadu Agyemang