Almost half of people with disabilities don’t use the Internet: but why?

By | September 3, 2013

While disabilities, such as health-related problems, are a continuing source of digital exclusion, OxIS 2013 shows that over half (51%) of British people with a disability use the Internet. This is a rise of 15 percentage points from 2007. Unfortunately, 51% is still considerably less than the 84% of non-disabled respondents who use the Internet, leaving a major digital divide for the disabled.

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Disabled people are much more likely to not use the Internet.

However, this is a broad question and many disabilities would not influence ability to use computers or the Internet. When we ask respondents specifically whether their disability limits their ability to use computers we get a different result: for people who say the disability limits their use of a computer or the Internet, there is no difference between the percentage of users versus non-users. This suggests that disability is not a major issue for Internet use.

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There is no difference between Internet users and non-users when we control for whether their disability limits their use of a computer.