The effects of the smart environment on the information divide experienced by people with disabilities

Su-Jung Nam, Ph.D., Eun-Young Park, Ph.D.

Disability and Health JournalVol. 10Issue 2p257–263



Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is connected with every aspect of social, cultural, economic, educational, and commercial activity. Smart devices in particular have changed society and are necessary goods for modern people. Smart device usage is rapidly growing in everyday life, so the ability to use a smart device is increasingly important, yet there is little data supporting increased digital inclusion of people with disabilities in mobile device use.


This study investigates the effects of the smart environment on the information divide experienced by people with disabilities.


Data from the 2013 Information Divide Index Data of the National Information Society Agency was analyzed

regarding three aspects: access, skill, and competence. The accessibility difference was investigated by comparing access to a PC or smart device in two groups. The effects of a smart environment on the information divide were analyzed using General Linear Modeling (GLM).


The access rate was higher for the general group than for that of those with disabilities, and this difference appeared to be greater in the smart environment. The results of the GLM showed that disability and device access had statistically significant effects on skill and all aspects of competence.


These results provide evidence that the smart environment further creates the information divide for people with disabilities. Strategies should be formed to reduce this divide, particularly within smart environments.