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Digital divide keeps many disabled Americans offline

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Most people agree that today, digital access is a must. But not all Americans are able to get online, a new poll shows. Nearly one quarter of disabled Americans say they never go online, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

That means that of the nation’s 56 million people living with a disability, nearly 13 million of them do not use the internet. That digital divide makes it harder for people prevented from working by disability to get information about medical care, financial assistance with food and housing, as well as information about how to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

Pew Research Center says that when you compare those with a disability to those without, those adults with disability “are roughly 20 percentage points less likely to say they subscribe to home broadband and own a traditional computer, a smartphone or a tablet.”

Only one out of every four adults with a disability say they have high-speed internet service in their homes, a smartphone, a laptop or desktop computer and a tablet. Forty-two percent of those without a disability say they have those things.

Disabled Americans are much less likely to use the internet daily: 50 percent, as compared to 79 percent of those without a disability.

When you break down the disabled community by age, some differences become clear. “Disabled Americans younger than 65 have much higher rates of having home broadband services,” says Pew Research.

For many of us, the online world enables us to keep up with not only important news about the nation and world, but also with our families and friends. And it provides easy access to government websites that have crucial information about SSDI, Medicare and other services and programs critical to disabled Americans.

If you or a loved one needs to speak to a North Carolina attorney experienced in SSDI claims appeals, you can contact the Charlotte office of Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler for more information.