Digital literacy is an essential skill for participating in today’s society, but it can be a challenge for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Led by project partner European University Cyprus (EUC), 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 particularly e-learning and social media usage.
This focus of this research is two-fold. First, a systematic literature review was conducted to define the state of the art of the project and inform the methodological framework development. Second, a transnational quantitative anonymous survey was implemented in 5 countries and 10 partners. Partners aimed at further analysing the themes that emerged from literature review. Each partner localized and adapted the survey tool based on the needs and preferences of the participants in their local and institutional context.
We found that individuals with intellectual disabilities often struggle with basic computer skills, understanding digital concepts and navigating the internet. They have less access to and opportunities to learn to use ICT, and this constitutes a digital divide. Additionally, they may also face barriers related to assistive technology and lack of accessible design.
The research also shed light on existing competency frameworks, challenges and barriers on social media usage, and co-design method to build accessible ICT products. We believe that by addressing these challenges, we can improve the digital literacy and overall participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities in our increasingly digital world.
It is reported that both persons with intellectual disabilities and their carers or trainers should have the digital competences to use ICT. Performing web searches and the use of emailing, use of social media and YouTube, as well as safety concerns were recurring issues, whereas the use of forums supported technically and emotionally parents who needed it.
To access the reports please visit the result page of our website: https://righttoconnect.entelis.net/?page_id=205