Leveraging Accessible Digital Solutions for an Inclusive and Sustainable Societal Development

Digital technology is reshaping economic, social, and cultural systems, providing various opportunities for connecting, learning, and expanding horizons for people and businesses. While this shift gets traction, the digital divide is expanding at an alarming speed.

According to a United Nations report, more than 2.9 billion people worldwide are still without access to the internet. Of the more than 3 billion people who are not online, an estimated 96% are in developing countries, and less than 25% have access to the internet.

People who can’t read, hear, or write confront new kinds of marginalisation as well. The widespread use of poorly designed computer interfaces, as well as a lack of resources and tools to access online information, are only a few of the problems that prohibit disabled people.

These issues are exacerbated by environmental threats. Global greenhouse gas emissions, exploitation of water resources, degradation of natural habitats, and e-waste generation are only a few of the negative consequences of the expanding usage of digital technology, all of which impede the development of sustainable solutions. If these issues are not addressed, the negative impacts are expected to worsen dramatically in the coming years as the population’s need for data, access to knowledge, and new technology grows.

So, how can individuals and organisations strike a balance between the demands of a society that is digitising quickly and the preservation of the environment and sustainable development? How can they make sure that everyone and everything has a place in this new digital world?

One study suggests that well-designed digital solutions have the potential to assist anyone, even those with extremely poor literacy and minimal technological proficiency, in navigating digital environments and taking advantage of important applications.

A well-crafted digital solution entails creating and implementing digital technologies, platforms, and services that can be accessed and used by everyone, including individuals with disabilities. It means that whatever digital innovations are created must quickly adapt to the needs of people and businesses, the language used must be universal enough for everyone to easily understand the systems, and all applications can be adapted to alternative versions so that persons with different skills or limitations can still use the technology.

Aside from that, companies must employ sustainable practices such as considering energy consumption, available resources, and the ethical implications of the solution to be executed. By providing sustainable digital solutions, companies can create a positive value for clients, stakeholders, and the society, while minimising negative effects on the planet and people.

Additionally, by providing accessible and sustainable solutions addresses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The United Nations adopted the SDGs, which are 17 interrelated goals designed to lead global development initiatives. They address a wide range of issues, including poverty reduction, education, gender equality, and climate action. Inclusivity and accessibility are common themes across the SDGs, underlining the importance of equal opportunities and engagement for all.

The potential influence of digital accessibility and sustainability can be observed across multiple SDGs:

1. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages- All individuals can have access through easily available digital health platforms, promoting better health and well-being.

2. SDG 4: Quality Education- Equitable education opportunities are made possible through inclusive digital learning resources and platforms, which empower all types of learners.

3. SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all- The provision of digital tools and employment platforms that are accessible contributes to equal employment opportunities and economic empowerment for all people.

4. SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries- By removing barriers, reducing inequality, and ensuring equal access to information and services, inclusive digital environments can eliminate discrimination.

Creating accessible digital entry points for people with poor levels of literacy and digital proficiency begins a positive feedback loop that accelerates education and progress, increasing people’s self-esteem, fostering an equitable community, and ensuring a sustainable future for all. Meanwhile, designing sustainable digital products and services reduces the carbon footprint of any businesses, making them more economically feasible, socially responsible, and ecologically friendly.

As such, at SSA Innovations, our goal for 2024 is to promote and foster sustainable technological solutions for effective digital transformations. We seek to provide our clients with accessible and effective high-quality digital solutions based on best practices and continuous research and development, while addressing their needs.

Therefore, if your business is interested in initiating a path to make your digital services more inclusive and sustainable, watch out for our upcoming articles and video content. For the time being, explore our additional resources or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube so you wouldn’t miss all the exclusive content and more. For further inquiries, send us an email and let’s see what amazing things we can do as a team!

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