Civil society and industry work together to include older people in the information society
To mark their engagement in the Ministerial Debate on “E-inclusion. Be Part of It!”, AGE and EICTA expressed their commitment to working closely towards the creation of a concrete “Active Ageing Roadmap” to complement and support the existing efforts of the European Commission and other key stakeholders in the area of e-inclusion.
As the ICT is a sector in constant evolution, each generation of new technology brings with it advances that risk leaving out those who do not have enough money, skills or motivation. As mentioned in the Commission’s Communication, people aged 65 and over are still the most excluded from the information society, with only 10% using internet and 17% digitally literate.
AGE and EICTA propose that industry, in cooperation with civil society organisations, consider a range of steps aimed at the inclusion of senior citizens in the information society to develop:
- Safety and security principles aimed at the older user
- Accessibility standards and technologies addressing the alignments that come with age, such as impaired vision and reduced dexterity
- Training programmes tailored to the needs of the senior citizens.
The proposed “Active Ageing Roadmap” requires active participation of all stakeholders working with the ageing population – the civil society community targeting older citizens, advocacy groups, governments, regional and local authorities, education institutions, as well as industry, in order to improve and expand the offering to senior citizens. Only consistent and prolonged engagement of all of the stakeholders, within their competences (social, economic, health, education, …) will ensure that the needs of older people are mainstreamed in all new ICT products and services. Likewise, the society should acknowledge the rights of older people to be included in the information society as anyone else.