Technology is Key for Refugees, But Not Everyone Has Equal Access

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Digital access and skills are crucial for evacuees and refugees starting their new lives in Australia, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Startupdaily highlights research from Foundations for Belonging 2021, led by Settlement Services International (SSI) and researchers at WSU. In 2019, refugees engaged in high levels of digital communication to maintain social connection. While mobile phone ownership is high across refugee households, they are less likely to have laptops, desktops and tablets.

However, women had particular difficulty navigating the online world. Their most common problems were poor access to essential government services (MyGov and Medicare) and language difficulties.

This article highlights the importance of decreasing the digital divide in Australia. Researchers highlight the need for stronger digital inclusion in settlement policy and programs, with a particular focus on access to devices for learning and education. The onus, however, seems to be on refugees to narrow the divide, which absolutely should not be the case…

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