Digital Inclusion

Giving everyone the chance to go online

For most people going online to make purchases, pay bills or to keep in touch with friends and family is almost second nature, however, this is not the case for everyone.

Did you know that 23% of adults in Ashford lack all five basic digital skills they need to fully engage and reap the benefits of the digital world?

The five basic digital skills are:

  • Managing information
  • Communicating
  • Transacting
  • Problem-solving
  • Creating

Visit the Tech Partnership website for more information about digital exclusion.

What is digital exclusion?

Digital exclusion is the inability to access online products or services or to use simple forms of digital technology.

This disproportionately affects vulnerable people, low-income groups, the elderly and the more marginalised communities in our society. This creates a strong correlation between digital exclusion and social exclusion.

The economic impact of digital exclusion is equally challenging at a time when it is forecast that 90% of all jobs will soon require some form of digital capability and the UK faces a major shortage of digital skills at all levels.


In addition to helping people to get online, we also need to ensure that active online users can actually find the information they want or access the services they want to through our website.

In line with the new Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, we have made improvements to our various websites to ensure that it is compatible with assistive technologies. This has involved a lot of testing of our website with the help of Ashford Access Group, who provide the council with advice on disabled access. We have an accessibility statement published on

Digital inclusion event

As we continue on our digital transformation journey it is vital that no one is left behind. With that in mind, Ashford Borough Council hosted a digital inclusion event on 13 November 2019.

Working alongside Barclays Bank, Ashford Gateway and the One You Shop, over 30 residents attended a free basic digital skills and online safety workshops.