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Right To Connect Now project publishes research results on digital literacy barriers

Right To Connect Now project publishes research results on digital literacy barriers and needs of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Five persons with intellectual disabilities sitting around a table and using a laptop.

In this day and age, digital literacy is an essential skill for social participation and integration, but it can pose an array of obstacles for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Our recent research study investigated the specific digital literacy challenges faced by this population, and aimed to identify ways to improve their access to technology, especially when it comes to e-learning and using social media.

The focus of this research is two-fold. Firstly, a systematic literature review was conducted to define the state of the art of the project and to provide a basis for a methodological framework, which will be used to develop training modules on digital skills for persons with disabilities. Secondly, an anonymous survey was implemented by 10 partners across 5 countries, with each partner adapting and localising the survey tool based on the needs and preferences of the participants in their local and institutional context. With the data collected, the project partners deepened the analysis of the themes that emerged from the literature review.

Research findings

The project partners found that individuals with intellectual disabilities often struggle with basic computer skills, understanding digital concepts, and navigating the Internet. On top of this, they most likely have less access and opportunities to learn how to use ICT, which contributes to the digital divide. Additionally, they may also face barriers related to assistive technology and a lack of accessible design.

The research also sheds light on existing competency frameworks, challenges and barriers on social media usage, as well as spotlighting the co-design method when building accessible ICT products. We believe that by addressing these challenges, we can improve digital literacy and the overall participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities in our increasingly digitised world.

To learn more about Right To Connect Now's research findings, please go to their results webpage.

Project website