Information and communication systems accessibility

Increasingly, digital technology is becoming a key means to participating in all elements of daily life, in personal networks, in employment and education and in community life. It needs to be accessible to everyone. Access to digital technology can have a positive impact on the health of, and opportunities for, people with disability (Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031).

Digital inclusion

The premise of digital inclusion is that everyone should have the opportunity to be able to fully utilise digital technologies and the benefits they bring across many aspects of economic and social life (Thomas et al. 2023).

Data for this measure are sourced from the ADII which uses data from the Australian Internet Usage Survey. The ADII measures digital inclusion across the 3 dimensions of Access, Affordability, and Digital Ability. Individual Index dimensions are equally weighted in the construction of the total Index to derive an overall score from 0–100 (Thomas et al. 2023). See Things to consider when interpreting results for information on Index threshold scores from highly excluded through to highly included.

The Outcomes Framework intended to track the percentage difference in digital inclusion between people with disability and the Australian population. Measure wording has been revised to clarify the intent (see Appendix B: List of measures). The measure is reported here as:

  • Difference in digital inclusion between people with disability and the Australian population.

The desired population outcome for this measure is an increase in people with disability being able to access communication and information networks.

Population measure: Difference in digital inclusion between people with disability and the Australian population

Desired outcome: Reduction in score difference

Data source: ADII 

This measure will be replaced in the future when available data are improved. During the life of the Strategy, this measure will be replaced by ‘Proportion of people with disability reporting the internet sites and apps they want to use are accessible’. 

Latest results: 2022

  • In 2022, the digital inclusion gap between people with disability and the total population was 12 points. This is a 3 point increase in the gap since 2021 indicating that the measure has not improved since the start of the Strategy. However, the gap in 2022 remains slightly narrower than 2020 where it was 13 points.
  • For people with disability the ADII score initially increased from 55 in 2020, to 62 at baseline in 2021, and subsequently decreased to 61 in 2022. Both the 2021 and 2022 scores for people with disability are considered ‘included’ based on the ADII score ranges (Figure 3.5). 
  • Over the same period of time the ADII increased for the total population from 68 in 2020, to 71 in 2021, and 73 in 2022.

Things to consider when interpreting results

  • The Index threshold scores for the 4 groups of inclusion/exclusion: Highly excluded (45 or below), Excluded (above 45 and below 61), Included (61 and below 80), Highly included (80 and above).
  • The sample size of respondents with disability was 420 in 2020, 374 in 2021 and 956 in 2022. 

Latest results: 11.7 points (2022)

Baseline: 9.1 points (2021)

Progress status: Regress

Figure 3.5: Average ADII scores for people with disability aged 18 and over and the total population, 2020 to 2022

The data in the graph and the table below show the digital inclusion of people with disability (aged 18 and over) compared with the Australian population. Data from 2020 to 2022 are used. The score difference in digital inclusion between people with disability and the Australian population was 11.7 in 2022 and 12.6 in 2020.

Source: Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) | Data source overview

For figure notes, see Appendix C: Figure notes and sources.

For the latest data and breakdowns of the data, see Australia’s Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework | Digital inclusion.

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