Why digital inclusion matters to business

digital inclusion CSC Blogs

At CSC, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to use and benefit from technology, which is why we make sure that our products and services are as inclusive and accessible as possible.

That means designing them to be easy to use, enabling people to personalize their devices to meet a wide range of needs, and removing many of the barriers people with disabilities face – not only for our customers, but also for our staff and the communities we serve.

But it’s not just about the technical design of our technology; digital inclusion is also about ensuring that people have the ability – and the desire – to use it.

Despite the fact that over two-thirds of the world’s population lives within an area covered by a mobile broadband network, it is estimated that by the end of 2016, 3.9billion people — 53 percent of the world’s population — will still not be using the internet. This is why our strategy includes employee volunteering and mentoring programs to help individuals and organizations develop their digital capabilities.

Working within communities

For example, in the Chennai area of India, we set up a computer lab to educate underprivileged students, with CSCers teaching children computing basics at the Panchayat Union Primary School, as well as in three neighboring rural villages. Our plan is to set up five more computer labs to help other children across the country.

CSC employees gathered around computer terminals in a STEM learning centre in South Africa

CSC employees in South Africa helped fund and build a new STEM learning center in Cape Town.

Similarly, in Cape Town, South Africa, CSCers have helped to fund and build the Tenterden Place of Safety, a learning center for at-risk minors, aged 3-13, who are placed in state custody by the children’s court. The center focuses on the teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, using fun games designed to develop memory, numeracy and literacy skills. The program gives children a strong foundation that will stand them in good stead as they look for a job later in life.

And it is not just about classroom teaching either. Our employees have also made improvements to the center’s vegetable garden – with new greenhouses, worm farms and an irrigation system – giving the children a chance to better explore natural sciences too.

Digital technology is so entrenched in our daily lives – from the way we pay for things, to the way we communicate with one another – that it is easy to take the benefits and opportunities for granted. Information technology has transformed the way we live, work and play. But while it continues to help people rise out of poverty and foster greater equalities within communities everywhere, digital advancements can just as easily be a barrier to that equality too.

By working with our partners in both the private and public sector, suppliers, customers and our CSCers, we will continue to come up ways of boosting digital inclusion and accessibility, and removing the barriers to inequality, wherever and however we can.

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