Ageism and Digital Technology - EuroAgeism policy brief


A new policy brief sheds a light on ageism as a barrier to the adoption and use of digital technology in later life and suggests recommendations to address it.

EuroAgeism is a unique collaboration of doctoral researchers on the field of ageism. One of the distinguishing features of this network is its strong focus on policy-oriented research. The project aims to support evidence-based policies in the field of ageism. It also disseminates the research findings to policy stakeholders and the general public to decrease ageism in everyday life, in clinical and in social practice, in law and policy across Europe.

As part of this work, EuroAgeism students are preparing a series of policy briefs. The first issue of these briefs focuses on ageism as a barrier to the adoption and use of digital technology. Ageism & Digital Technology: Policy Measures to Address Ageism as a Barrier to Adoption and Use of Digital Technology is authored by Hanna Köttl and Ittay Mannheim, who did their secondment with AGE Platform Europe. 

In a rapidly digitalizing society, equal opportunities to access and use of digital technology are essential for social inclusion and participation. Older people are however often highly stereotyped regarding their abilities to use - and learn how to use digital technology. This policy brief emphasizes the idea that ageism can be a barrier to the use and adoption of digital technology, and suggests recommendations to address this burning issue.


EuroAgeism Policy Brief on Ageism and Digital Technology - Cover

Key messages

  1. Ageism is a key barrier that affects the design, adoption and use of digital technology.
  2. Ageism in the context of digital technology occurs on the macro (design & policy), meso (social and organisational environment) and micro (individual) level. These three levels also interact and influence each other.
  3. A paradigm shift is needed in our understanding of: What digital technologies older persons want and need; older individuals’ abilities to use digital technology; and how older persons are included and have a “say” in the design process of digital technology and related policies.
  4. In order to improve digital literacy and increase the use and adoption of digital technology among older persons, policy interventions need to focus on eliminating stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination based on age, rather than accepting ageing per se as a barrier to the use and adoption of digital technology.



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