Common Digital Inclusion Strategies

Published September 22, 2023

As digital technology becomes more essential, so does the need to access that technology. One could argue that a person’s ability to participate in society relies on their access to the digital landscape.

Though essential, this access eludes an alarming number of people, particularly individuals with disabilities or lower incomes. As such, designers, engineers, developers, and business owners must adopt digital inclusion strategies to ensure access to all consumers, regardless of background.

In this piece, we will provide an overview of the kinds of digital inclusion strategies that businesses and organizations should follow to keep digital products and services accessible. 

What are digital inclusion strategies?

Digital inclusion strategies refer to techniques to ensure the accessibility of digital products and services. These strategies help create user-oriented digital experiences and, as a result, create a more equitable and accessible society.

Affordable services

One strategy that can lead to successful digital inclusion is to provide affordable access to digital services. Often, when we think about accessibility, we think of it from the perspective of disabilities. While disability certainly plays a role in accessibility, it’s only part of the picture. We must also consider economic and geographic accessibility.

Many rural and low-income areas are at risk of isolation in the current high-tech and high-cost marketplace. A study by the National Institute of Health noted the correlation between digital literacy and happiness among low-income groups. The study advocates “cultivating the digital literacy of low-income groups to effectively provide development and endogenous motivation for enhancing subjective happiness.”

Providing affordable technology and services can help offset that isolation and increase digital accessibility in these communities. The Lifeline Program, facilitated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is a good example of this strategy in action. The program offers discounts for digital services such as high-speed internet access.

Affordable products

In addition to providing low-cost services, another way to promote digital inclusion is to provide affordable access to devices like smartphones, computers, and tablets. This can be incredibly valuable to children in low-income households, especially as schools become more reliant on digital technologies. Organizations such as Computers for Kids help provide refurbished computers for low-income families, serving as a model for this approach.

Ensuring digital literacy 

Promoting digital literacy helps users make the most out of a product or service. According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a digital product is accessible when it is understandable. This means that users should be able to understand how to use a digital product and the information it provides. 

Providing tutorials and knowledgeable customer support can help individuals develop the skills to make the most of a digital product. 

Accessible content

A fundamental strategy for digital inclusion includes creating accessible content. This involves designing platforms, content, websites, and apps with accessibility in mind. For instance, providing closed captions, alt-text, and audio descriptions are ways to enact this inclusion strategy. WCAG offers several methods that help ensure the accessibility of digital content. 

Creating a culture of inclusion

Another way to help ensure digital inclusion is by establishing a culture of inclusion in digital spaces by maintaining safe and welcoming online environments. From comment sections to online communities, all digital spaces should be moderated to help promote diversity and inclusivity and diminish any potential discrimination or harassment. 

Understanding the benefits

Numerous benefits come with prioritizing digital inclusion. Among these are social connectivity, better education, economic opportunity, business growth, and overall happiness. By prioritizing digital inclusion, businesses, governments, institutions, and individuals can do their part to give people of all backgrounds the opportunity to succeed and thrive.

Costs and challenges

Despite the undeniable benefits of digital inclusion, it’s not without its challenges, the most prevalent being funding and resources. Digital technology is expensive and requires substantial resources throughout the design, development, and deployment stages. The same can be said about implementing these inclusion strategies, particularly those that help facilitate economic accessibility. 

As such, decision-makers may be reticent to put funds toward these particular inclusion strategies. 

However, any resources put toward accessibility should be seen as an investment, as the benefits of accessibility and inclusion far outweigh any cost


Promoting digital inclusion is an essential element of normalizing digital accessibility. By providing access to digital products and services, promoting digital literacy, and curating an inclusive digital culture, we can help create an equitable and accessible society. Despite whatever costs may be present, the rewards of digital inclusion are undeniable.


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