|Photo from flickr user rex libris.|
The U.S. Department of Commerce released a report this week called "Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home" (link is a PDF). According to the report, 72% of people without disabilities had broadband access to the internet at home, compared to 43% of those with disabilities. This is according to information from the Census Bureau. According to Disability Scoop,
Socioeconomic factors appear to be a major reason behind the lack of Internet access among those with disabilities, the report found. When researchers controlled for income, education, age and other demographic and geographic variables, the disparity in access between those with and without disabilities dropped to only about 6 percent.
Of course, in this economy, I think the digital divide is becoming even more of a concern. People may not have the ability to buy a computer and rely on places like libraries, which in turn are feeling the budget crunch and may not be able to provide those services or provide them at hours that people can use them. At the same time, jobs are increasingly require more computer skills, and to even fill out an application requires computer knowledge (and sometimes accessibility options companies don't always provide.)
What do you think?