Eastbourne Designed for All: Digital Inclusion

Eastbourne Designed for All’s next focus is digital inclusion. This month we have decided to use our blog to talk about what this buzzword means, why it is important and how to make sure you’re being digitally inclusive.

If you search digital inclusion, you get around 31,000,000 results (2016), this means that you can find a lot of definitions. A very simple definition of digital inclusion is:

Working to ensure that everyone regardless of age, background or ability has access to technology and digital literacy skills that support full participation in the modern world.

Digital inclusion also means that there must be equal access. The right tools and support systems need to be in place to bridge the skills gap for those who have less (if any) experience in the “digital world”. This can be done in many ways, for example: offering training and free access to PCs in local libraries.

The internet has transformed how the public works, socialises and consumes. Those who were born in the last 20 years have always lived in a society that depends on the internet and digital forms of communication. However, for many other people, there has had to be a transition. This has created a lot of challenges, particularly for those aged 60+. This age group is already at risk of social exclusion but the internet can accelerate this exclusion contributing towards loneliness and isolation.

Digital exclusion significantly affects every day independent living. Lots of products, services and information is made available to consumers via the internet. If you do not know how to or do not have the means to access this information, you may have to use more resources to find the things you need. This can be costly and impractical for many people. Digital inclusion is as much about equality as it is about using online tools to make our lives easier.

From a business perspective, you have to consider those who are currently digitally excluded especially when considering your marketing strategy – how are you communicating what you can offer consumers? If you invest heavily in social media, are you ignoring the groups of people that aren’t online? You have to think about how to make your digital platforms more accessible. This can include investing in making your website more user friendly and finding out what your local council is doing to invest in digital inclusion and how you can get involved. If you are based in East Sussex, why not get in touch with us!

Eastbourne Designed for All is a campaign to help businesses in Eastbourne meet local consumers’ needs more effectively. We work with local businesses to help them access the tools and support they need to become more accessible and inclusive. Eastbourne Designed for All believes that businesses are in the position to make a real difference in local communities.

Drop Eastbourne Designed for All an email to arrange a FREE consultation: info@eastbournedesignedforall.co.uk.

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