Cultures and Communities & ICT and the Disabled

Cultures and Communities & ICT and the Disabled

Given the worlds increasing reliance on, and use of, the Internet, those without it are already finding themselves at a disadvantage. Poorer communities in Britain may find themselves left behind and more financially disadvantaged than they are already.

GCSE ICT - Photo Online CommunityMembers of the rural community e.g. farmers, benefit considerably from the Internet. No longer do they have to make that fifty mile trip into town for a minor chore. Bills can be paid in seconds and food and clothes can be delivered to their doorstep.

Non-English speaking cultures may find themselves at a disadvantage. English is the working language of the world and makes up about 80 percent of Internet content. Especially isolated are poor, rural communities in Africa and other parts of the world where survival is a daily struggle and the Internet would be an unimaginable luxury. What we regard as a daily part of our lives is to some people an unheard of kind of magic.


ICT and the disabled

ICT has generally helped to improve the lives of the disabled, firstly by giving them greater independence and secondly by increasing their contact with the outside world. For example:

GCSE ICT - magnifying glass* Disabled people who are housebound have been able to use the Internet to make contact with a much wider circle of people than their lives would otherwise permit.

* Some have managed to find home based employment using ICT.

* Specially designed input devices such as the puff-suck switch (a mouth device which responds to blowing and sucking), the foot mouse and the eye typer can be used by the disabled to operate their computer.

* Screen magnifiers and software that turns text into sound can be used to improve the lives of the partially sighted or completely blind.