Ensuring People with Disabilities are Digitally included

Shannen Carroll

Currently, as everyone is aware, we are amid a global pandemic.

Now it may seem like everything is slowly getting back to normal, but is it really? Right now, everything that we used to be able to go out and do is now conveniently at the touch of our fingertips from the safety and comfort of our homes.

Whether that be going to work, doing your weekly grocery shop (or for some people daily) and even schools and universities are online. Personal trainers are using ZOOM sessions to train people from all around the country. But do all Australians have access to the internet or a laptop?

Digital inclusion in Australia is about ensuring that we, as Australians, have the chance to access technology and the internet in a midst to improve their daily lives. In a survey by the Good Things Foundation, they noted that 2.5 million Australians are not online.

They also go on to state that over 4 million Australians rarely engage with the internet or only use what they know, from that statistic 25 percent of them are people with disabilities who have never used the internet as well as 35 percent of the Australians that do not use the internet do not have access to it already.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (better known as NDIS) state that they are “changing the way that disability services are delivered and will ensure social and economic independence and full participation for Australians with disabilities.

However, 25% of people with disabilities currently do not use the Internet. A successful NDIS requires improved digital literacy. “

With everything being online people with disabilities may be struggling with the sudden change.

They may be highly susceptible to this virus and are unable to live their normal lifestyle.

They would depend on the Internet to be able to get food as well as a connection to the online world. This is why we need as much help as possible when it comes to ensuring that everyone has access to the internet so that they are able to work as well as get the education that they deserve.

Without the inclusion of this many people will suffer.

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About the Social Impact Projects

The Griffith University Social Impact Projects address five significant social justice issues faced by vulnerable communities. Expanding on the work done by Project Safe Space, and Project Open Doors, the Griffith University Social Impact Projects bring Community Partners, students and the University together to work collaboratively in the innovative solution design sprints. Initially designed to address Mental Health and Wellbeing of Griffith students, we soon realised this was a much larger issue intersecting across a number of social justice issues for students and the wider community. The Social Impact Projects aim to contribute in some small way to improving these social issues.