This Website Uses Cookies. Cookies are small text files held on your computer. Cookies will never contain any personally identifiable information. You can delete and block cookies but parts of our site may not work without them. We use cookies in order to deliver the best possible service to you and to provide a secure and effective site service for users. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. To find out more about how we use cookies and also how you can change your cookie settings, click here.

Hide this message

ECDL Foundation organised event on e-Inclusion

Print page
Blank Image

Brussels, 3rd October - The ECDL Foundation and AGE convened a high-level workshop on e-Inclusion and the role of digital literacy. Participants agreed on the need for an integrated approach in order to effectively include vulnerable and marginalised groups in the information society. Training programmes, adapted to the needs and interests of marginalised groups are essential to equip people with needed skills for participation in the society.

Out of the issues discussed, all participants* agreed on the need for an integrated, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder approach in order to effectively include vulnerable and marginalized groups in the information society. Current actions in this area are fragmented and lack an integrated solution to a problem that cannot be successfully tackled by any one entity alone. National and regional regulators, representatives of industry and civil society are called upon to cooperate in a bottom-up approach to raise skill levels and digital literacy for all and prevent the social exclusion of groups at risk such as older people and people with disabilities.

Mainstreaming accessible, easy-to-use and affordable technologies is an important step in achieving an inclusive information society. While the technology is important, equally, the provision of appropriate training programmes, adapted to the needs and interests of marginalized groups is essential to equip people with the key skills that they need to participate fully in society. In addition, such transfer of knowledge offers the opportunity for intergenerational dialogue and a solidarity that is intrinsic to e-Inclusion.

The event gathered representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, marginalised groups, national governments and industry and addressed key issues of marginalised groups including the needs and challenges they face, the role of digital literacy and practical approaches to realising their e-Inclusion in Europe.

As the European Commission prepares its e-Inclusion Communication and associated 2008 European Year of e-Inclusion Initiative, the ECDL Foundation and AGE workshop provided key stakeholders with a privileged platform to exchange views and offer important steps towards achieving the e-Inclusion of marginalized groups as a key contribution to the 2008 e-Inclusion initiative.

People remain the central focus of e-Inclusion in all its facets as exclusion from the information society has become synonymous with exclusion from society as a whole. Digital literacy enables social cohesion, empowerment of the individual and thus acceptance in society. A concerted approach through decentralised regional and local channels will best address the requirement to deliver e-Inclusion directly to the people who need it.

*Participants at the event: Damien O’Sullivan, Nikos Ioannou, Jim Friars (the ECDL Foundation), Susan Binns (Lisbon Strategy and Policies for the Information Society), Elizabeth Mestheneos, Anne-Sophie Parent (AGE), Lambert van Nistelrooij (Ageing Intergroup), Inmaculada Placencia Porrero (Unit of Integration of People with Disabilities at the DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities),PierePaolo Maggi (AICA), David Baugh (Apple), Joe Hegarty (Intel), Jan Willem Scheijgrond (Hewlett Packard), Catherine Stewart (British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium), Miguel Gonzales Sancho (e-Inclusion Unit, ICT addressing Societal Challenges), Elena Bonfiglioli (Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Bruce Roch (Adecco).