A keyboard with a green button - Inclusion


CMO speaks to those on the fringes of digital literacy and utilisation in Australia as well as industry experts, including Leep CEO Cecily Michaels, to shine a light on digital inclusion as a strategy and corporate responsibility.

The online world has delivered massive benefits to Australian corporations and consumers alike. Well, most of them.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports 86 per cent of households had access to the Internet at home in 2016-17. That sounds impressive, until you consider that the launch of every new online service and feature widens the gap in society between those who can easily access such services, and the 14 per cent of households for whom reasons of age, disability, remoteness or affordability means they can’t.

Each year, The Australian Digital Inclusion Index, created by Roy Morgan Research and sponsored by Telstra, measures the ability of society to make full use of digital technologies. The 2017 report found the gaps between digitally included and excluded Australians are substantial and widening. This was particularly true when measuring the gap in digital skills between households of high and low income, and between younger and older Australians.

The importance of being participation in the online world has become very clear to CEO of western Sydney-based not-for-profit, Leep NGO, Cecily Michaels. The organisation recruits, trains and manages volunteers using funding from Federal Government’s Be Connected program and Good Things Foundation, and works with elderly and disadvantaged citizens to boost their technology skills.

She relates the story of one learner, who had suffered a traffic accident that left her visually and mentally impaired, but who was determined to learn technology.

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