Wayne David MP, Deputy Minister for Inclusion made a keynote speech at last week's 'Inclusive Digital Economy Network event' at City University. This is what he said, 'I am delighted to be here this morning to talk about the key role of digital inclusion and the importance of investing in the citizen especially the elderly and those who have a disability. I know all of us here today recognise the significant role that digital technologies can play in helping people change their everyday lives and improve their life chances. I would like to thank everyone here today for attending this event. All of you today like me and the Digital Inclusion Minister Paul Murphy have vested interests in the work and research you are all undertaking to prove the link that the use of digital technologies by all members of society is essential to a thriving UK economy. Everyone in this room has an objective to raise awareness and produce research to show the importance of developing a truly inclusive digital economy so that all citizens including the elderly, disabled, those on low incomes and other hard to reach groups benefit from the use of ICT's in their lives either directly or indirectly. The research used to inform our latest thinking around the digital inclusion has proved very valuable in proving to colleagues across Whitehall that in times of unemployment and recession digital technologies can be used to help get people back into work, improve education and skills and reduce costs for government and businesses alike.'
He added, 'Price also has an important part to play. Many assistive technologies are far too expensive and government is now looking to see how we can get manufacturers to design equipment for all of society but at a low cost. Digitally excluded individuals have less opportunity to take part in education, training, shopping, entertainment and communication opportunities that are available online. Digital inclusion is a key objective of this Government, to make sure that everyone in the UK, regardless of their circumstances has the opportunity to benefit from the information revolution.'