Coronavirus response must include digital access to connect us all
Crossing the digital divide is essential to ensuring that the response to COVID-19 includes us all, say the Addressing Poverty with Lived Experience (APLE) Collective. For the APLE Collective, digital exclusion means exclusion from voice, from an ability to participate in the everyday. It means being silenced. It means our knowledge is ignored, which exacerbates economic and social divides. As a result, a digital divide opens.
The digital divide doesn’t just mean having access to wifi, but the ability to pay for it. Our communities who live on a low income or social security benefits are unable to pay for this access. The digital divide also incurs expenses when paying for hardware (computers and devices) and finally people may not have the opportunity to access support to help them use technology.