Chapter 1: Digital inclusion explained

Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of digital devices and media. It requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology. Inclusion is also on-going and must evolve as technology advances. 

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)

Five inclusion activities

Five inclusion activities are described by the NDIA. In addition, working in the field of adult learning and literacy, we recognize that language, literacy and numeracy must be integrated with digital learning. We have extended the understanding of digital literacy training to include this important aspect of inclusion (in italics):

Based on a definition and understanding of digital inclusion from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) in the United States.  Learn more about their activities here. 
Digital inclusion graphic with five elements of inclusion shown as a cycle.

LBS plays a key role in inclusion efforts as a provider of digital learning opportunities for adults — learning opportunities that are free and responsive to the goals of learners. LBS programs deliver digital training in various ways as part of their wider aim to support education, employment and learners’ personal aims. 

However, LBS does not have mechanisms in place to address the remaining four elements of inclusion in learners’ lives, even though the adult learners in the system might not have the device and an affordable, high speed connection they need for learning. Although adult educators curate, adapt and help learners find useful online content, they and other experts aren’t regularly involved in province-wide efforts to develop applications and content designed for unique learners — adults who need to meet complex digital demands in their lives, with literacy abilities roughly equivalent to elementary and secondary school levels.