4 March 2003
New research published today examines the relationship between older people, the internet and political engagement, highlighting the "digital divide" faced by senior citizens and the role of IT in promoting social inclusion.
Past the Post, a new report by the Hansard Society, highlights factors affecting older people's uptake of IT and records through a series of case studies observations on their interactions with computers and online environments.
At a launch event in London today, Douglas Alexander, Cabinet Office Minister for e-Transformation, spoke on the report's "important contribution" to ongoing debate and commented: "The internet presents opportunities to bring communities together, but unless we make the right public policy choices, new technologies, rather than being a force for equality, could exacerbate inequalities in society."
Claire Ettinghausen, Director of the Hansard Society added: "The internet has the power to help improve participation in political debate by permitting a speed and range of contact that cannot be matched by other methods. But unequal access and difficulty of use are major drawbacks."
Copies of the report are available to order from the Hansard Society
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