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The digital divide, inclusion and access for disabled people in IT supported emergency response systems: a UK and EU-based analysis

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This short insights paper examines IT Supported Emergency Response systems from the perspective of the digital divide and access for disabled people. It is argued that inclusive design is often overlooked in the development of emergency systems and this can lead to increased marginalisation of certain societal groups, such as disabled people and older people. Given the importance of equality of provision in relation to emergency responses there is a need to examine accessibility policy in this area to determine whether it enables the equal participation of all. This is important both in relation to the ability to access key information in an emergency situation and to participate in crowdsourced data generation to help in the targeting of resources, both at the time of an emergency and in subsequent planning. This insights paper takes both a practical and theoretical approach and focuses upon key policies emanating from the EU and UK.