The NI Direct Digital Inclusion Unit within Enterprise Shared Services continues to promote a digitally inclusive society through a range of projects working in partnership with various organisations to help digitally excluded citizens get online. Digital Inclusion is all about access, making online technology available to everyone and ensuring that every individual in Northern Ireland (irrespective of personal circumstances) is able to access low cost, convenient computing and Internet technology.
The Digital Inclusion Unit focuses on ensuring that citizens across Northern Ireland are capable of accessing digital services. Developments in digital technology have generated a period of massive social and cultural change, impacting on all aspects of society. Northern Ireland Government fully recognises that access to and exploitation of modern technology and computing can enhance the quality of life within today’s society.
Digital Inclusion is also about skills, ensuring that individuals have the ability to interact with relevant hardware and make it work for them. By enhancing the quality of life that access to and exploitation of technology can provide, the Digital Inclusion Unit has set out to facilitate a digitally inclusive society in the form of citizen-facing solutions.
Overall Northern Ireland is an exemplar region and was the first area in Europe to enable 100% of its citizens to access broadband. In 2012, the NISRA Omnibus survey indicated that 74% of Northern Ireland’s adult population makes use of the Internet. The Digital Inclusion Unit’s activities have been instrumental to seeing this figure rise over the last few years, and will continue to commission surveys to track both the extent of the digital divide and the obstacles to greater use of computing and Internet technologies.
Based on the UK target of a 60% reduction in non-Internet users by 2014, DFP have a target of ensuring that by 2014 the number of citizens using the Internet in Northern Ireland has increased to 78% of the adult population from current levels.
Digital Inclusion projects include;
- 66101 SMS text messaging service
- Go On NI
- Silver Surfers Day
- Farm IT
- future@work kiosks
- Internet Made Easy
For further information contact the Digital Inclusion Team; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org