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 (Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) 2022).

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 (ADII 2022). See Things to consider when interpreting the data for information on Index threshold scores from highly excluded through to highly included.

The measure was set 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 and 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’.

Results at baseline: 2021

  • In 2021, the ADII score was, on average, 62 for people with disability and 71 for the total population: a gap of 9 points.
  • The gap in 2021 was narrower (4 points less) than the gap in 2020, when it was 13 points. In 2020, people with disability recorded an Index score of 55, compared with the total population’s score of 68 (Figure 3.9).
  • In 2021, the gap between the score for males with disability (58 points) and the total male population (72 points) was 14 points. This is more than twice as high as the gap between females with disability (65 points) and the total female population (71 points) of 5 points.
  • For people with disability, the youngest age group (18–44 years) had the highest 2021 Index score of all age groups (76). This age group also had the lowest gap (except for those aged 75 and over) between them and the total population aged 18–44 (4 points: scores of 76 and 80 for people with disability and the total population, respectively).
  • The gap for the 18–44 age group was 4 points while the gap for the age groups 45–54 and 55–64 was more than twice as large (8.9 and 8.6 points, respectively).
  • The gap was narrowest (0.3 of a point) for those aged 75 and over (47.1 and 47.4, respectively), indicating that both people with and without disability in this age group are more likely to be digitally excluded.

Latest results

Updated data are not yet available for this measure. New data for the ADII are expected to be available in 2023 and will be included in the 2023 annual report.

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 and 374 in 2021.

Figure 3.9: Average ADII scores for people with disability aged 18 and over and the total population, 2020 and 2021

These data show the digital inclusion of people with disability (aged 18 and over) compared with the Australian population. In 2021, the score difference in digital inclusion between people with disability and the Australian population was 9.1.

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

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


Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031 (2021), Department of Social Services, Australian Government, accessed 2 August 2022.

ADII (Australian Digital Inclusion Index) (2022) Australian Digital Inclusion Index, RMIT Swinburne University of Technology and Telstra, accessed 14 September 2022.

Thomas J, Barraket J, Parkinson S, Wilson C, Holcombe-James I, Brydon A and Kennedy J (2021) Australian Digital Inclusion Index: 2021. Dashboard Dataset Release 1, RMIT and Swinburne University of Technology, and Telstra.

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