Looking across digital divides: possible interventions in inclusive and accessible service design

Swinburne University of Technology
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
ANZCA2014 Conference Proceedings, 2014, (2014)
Issue Date:
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Traversing the numerous studies of minority groups and the access to technology highlights the necessity of rethinking the popular notion of ‘digital divides’ by which particular communities are considered disadvantaged in their access to the Internet. The research points to pervasive technological determinism in the ways that services are designed to push users online regardless of the evidence that an array of minority groups prefer and use other means of communicating and seeking information. The ‘digital divide’ is evidence that information services have not been designed to be inclusive of a significant proportion of the wider community. It is also an inadequate model for conceptualising the diversity of technologies that are now used, as well as the literacies required to access them. Instead of dichotomising user groups, with minorities representing those who are disadvantaged and deprived of computers, there are persuasive business, regulatory and legal arguments for compelling service providers to consider their users as part of a spectrum of affordabilities, literacies and technologies through which their services are accessed.
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