This white paper will provide the reader with insight into the role technology plays for the full participation of persons with disabilities and older people in the digital society. The authors consider equal opportunities to participate in all realms of life a human right. The paper will help the reader to understand what the barriers to full digital inclusion for these groups are, how changing scenarios in society should lead to the definition of new goals and how these goals could be reached.
This white paper looks forward and challenges the reader to identify strategies to tackle the digital divide. In the first section, it analyses trends and policy objectives as defined by the international community in 6 different areas relevant to the digital divide:
Disability and participation
Health and social care
The writing of this white paper is the result of a three-year long project funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. The ENTELIS project has brought together various organisations from different European countries and beyond and has resulted in the establishment of a sustainable network, supported by three European umbrella organisations: EASPD (European Association of Service Providers to Persons with Disabilities), AAATE (Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe) and EVBB (European Association of Vocational Training Institutes). For them supporting the network means creating an opportunity for their member organisations and other interested stakeholders to actively engage with technology and technology users with disabilities in education, vocational training and person centred support services. Their common understanding is that ICT and AT can empower people with disabilities, lead to more fulfilled lives and a more inclusive society but that this can only be reached if there is effective collaboration between sectors. Their expectation is that the network will empower their member organisations in making this become reality and this document and in particular the roadmap contained in there might provide good guidance for that.