Connecting communities through information technology
A new report released by Women with Disabilities Victoria, in conjunction with the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU), reveals a disturbing level of disadvantage faced by women with disabilities in accessing information and communication technologies (ICT). In an age where delivery of information, communication and services are becoming increasingly digital, those without access are experiencing new forms of disadvantage and being further socially and economically excluded.
Report author, Chris Jennings, writes ‘we are fast approaching a time when it is no longer an issue of personal choice — those without access to the internet will be seriously disadvantaged by society’s increasing use and dependence on it’.
‘Computer interfaces are used in many areas of everyday life, from banking machines to ticket dispensers. The internet is increasingly a channel for conveying information about health, transport, education and many government services. Major employers rely on online application systems for recruitment (WHO & the World Bank, 2011)’.
The report draws on research and consultation with women with disabilities, particularly those who are socially isolated. A series of workshops were held by Project Worker, Chris Jennings, to discuss ICT issues with women with disabilities.
The women participating were enthusiastic about the opportunities the project provided to learn about and use information technology. Women who might traditionally might be perceived as less able to use IT demonstrated their skill in navigating computers and different software programs.
The intersection of gender inequality and disability presents a situation of multiple disadvantage. The report notes that women with disabilities too often face the compounding effects of poverty, lack of education and employment, fear of exploitation and gender stereotypes. These multiple layers of disadvantage create barriers to accessing ICT that are extreme. For example, the high incidence of unemployment amongst women with disabilities further denies them exposure to and familiarity with ICT otherwise afforded those in the workforce and at the same time limits the financial resources they need to buy their own computers and technical support.
The report highlights that “When looking at labour force participation, women with disabilities are particularly affected, with a participation rate of 49% - well below the 60% participation rate of males with disabilities and the 77% participation rate of females without disabilities (ABS 2009).”
The Report was funded by the Victorian Women’s Trust. It recommends government, ICT companies, education facilities and disability services have a responsibility to address women’s lack of access to ICT.
This Report is available through the Women with Disabilities Victoria website in three versions – PDF, Word and Easy English:
• 'Your Say, Your Rights': Women with disabilities and Information Communication Technology (ICT) PDF (1MB)
• 'Your Say, Your Rights': Women with disabilities and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Word (2.2MB)
• 'Your Say, Your Rights': Women with disabilities and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Easy English (PDF | 934KB)
Saturday 25 May – Tuesday 28 May 2013
Novotel Sydney Central
(formerly Citigate Central Sydney)
169-179 Thomas Street
The theme of the Conference Digital Literacy: Making the World Accessible will explore the influence of digital technologies on information access through guest speakers, panel sessions with industry experts, suppliers and will encourage healthy debate and discussion from delegates.
Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc.
PO Box 229
LINDISFARNE TAS AUSTRALIA 7015
Ph: Mobile 0417 101 418
Fax: +61 3 6265 1519
Visit Round Table at www.printdisability.org
and the Round Table blog at http://printdisability.wordpress.com
The 2012 conference MyLanguage - Connecting, Collaborating, Creating had the focus of exploring digital futures for multicultural Australia especially ways of connecting communities, collaborating and creating digital opportunities. The conference papers are now available. at: http://mylanguage.gov.au/conference/conference2012/13-conference/97-my-language-conference-presentations-2012.html
An annual visual arts exhibition for people living with a disability from culturally diverse backgrounds which is held at the Atrium, Federation Square, December 2nd to December 14th 2013. Expressions of interest are now open. ArtAbility® is ADEC’s flagship, annual art exhibition. The theme this year is Destinations,and ADEC invites artists living with a disability, from multiculturally diverse backgrounds to submit works interpreting this theme.
Where are you going? Where have you been? Does the word ‘destination’ bring to mind a place or maybe it makes you think of where you are headed in your life and the goals you are aiming to reach. ADEC aims to empower people living with disabilities from multiculturally diverse backgrounds, their carers and families to fully participate as members of the Victorian community.
Since its inception in 2005, ArtAbility® has grown into an important event within the multicultural and disability communities as well as making its mark on the mainstream artistic calendar. Many artists have been discovered through ArtAbility® and have gone on to launch careers in the arts because of this. Works of art from ArtAbility® have been acquired by industry, government and other collections for display.
Expression of Interest forms to ADEC by no later than Monday 24th June 2013.
For all enquiries please contact:
Cassandra Glover, Artistic and General Coordinator – ArtAbility
Phone: (03) 9480 1666
Mob: 0430 292 297
For more information you can visit us at www.artability.org.au OR
Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArtAbility_ADEC
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ArtAbility2012