Digital inclusion is the European Comission's effort to ensure that everybody can contribute to and benefit from the digital economy and society.

Digital inclusion is being made possible through some of the acitivities supported by the European Commission such as :

  • Accessible ICT: making ICT more accessible for all and fostering new methodologies for technology development (design for all)
  • Assistive technologies: supporting the development of ICT that assists people with disabilities for enabling them to perform activities that they have not been able to do before and to interact better with technologies.
  • Skills and digital skills: empowering citizens to fight marginalisation and social exclusion, including careers through ICT in Education.
  • Social Inclusion: increasing the participation rate of disadvantaged people in public, social and economic activities through social inclusion projects.

There are a number of EU funded projects that address the needs of disabled people. The Commission's actions particularly addresses people with physical and cognitive disabilities, youth and the NEETs (Not in Employment, nor in Education or Training), the economically inactive, immigrants and the elderly through the Active and Assisted Living Programme.

Digital exclusion

Digital exclusion is part of the overall challenge of exclusion, a widespread and growing phenomenon which carries with it a series of deteriorations in life paths like poor health, poor lifelong earnings and an increased risk of marginalisation. As shown in a recent OECD outlook, when income inequality rises, economic growth falls. Tackling inequality will make our societies fairer and our economies stronger. There are many who are currently excluded for reasons of low income and education, location, culture, trust and confidence levels or various disabilities.

According to benchmark, 80 million Europeans never use internet either because they don't have a computer or it is too expensive. Another reasons might be that they find it too difficult or not relevant to connect digitally as observed in the Digital Scoreboard. An important factor is the type or level of cognitive or physical disability that prevents those affected to use ICT and Internet.

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4 May 2016
Last update: 
16 August 2017
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