You're reading this on a digital device, with reasonable access I would imagine, and I am presuming that you have the usual frustrations navigating government websites (don't we all?!). But what about those who have less access, or those who have unreliable access, or worse still, no access. Have we even considered those who have lower levels of digital literacy than us?! Those who haven't grown up with a device in their hand, the older Aussies, the ones in small towns and communities? Where are they in the digital landscape and ultimately in their ability to access the government services and information?
Linkwest CEO, Jane Chilcott is calling for the Federal Government to come to the table with more funding for grassroots organisations in WA to help them support those who are vulnerable and at risk of digital stress and isolation.
“Many of our most vulnerable members of the community are relying on our Centre staff for support to access these Federal Government services.
“This situation is further exacerbated in regional WA where there is poor internet access and the nearest agency office can be a four hour drive."
The current Federal Government’s budget handed down last week had not considered the needs of Western Australians experiencing ‘digital stress’.
“We know from recent research that one in four of the poorest households in WA do not have access to the internet.
“And many Australians, including the elderly, single parents, and the CaLD community face challenges in accessing Federal Government digital services for many reasons including low digital literacy and literacy and numeracy skills.”
Let's help these communities, Canberra, let's resource these centres to mitigate the impact of the Digital Divide, resource these centres to support our people to be better placed to grab all opportunities, after all isn't that what the World Wide Web was supposed to do? Give us more access to opportunities, not distance us even more?
Natika describes herself as a tech-tragic. Having been swept up in Apple Mania, this is where she's at her most tragic, but she's been an early adopter of new technologies for years and loves exploring ways to adapt the latest gadgets into everyday life.