With the change of industrial society to information society, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an increasingly important role in nearly all areas of societal and political life. In parallel, one question becomes more and more important: Who can benefit from this development and in what ways? When important information or services turn to e-information and e-services – i.e. are increasingly offered via the new media – their equitable accessibility and usability must be ensured. At the same time, computers and the internet, mobile phones and digital TV offer new opportunities for disadvantaged groups of the population in terms of increased societal and political participation, quality of life and independent living. In this field, empirica focuses on two major research issues:
Against the background of demographic change and population ageing in Europe and the world, these two issues are of special relevance. Therefore attention must be paid to older people as well as to people with a disability, people with low income or low educational level, migrants and other disadvantaged population groups.
empirica has been dealing with issues of eInclusion and eAccessibility since 1990. At that time we initiated and carried out a wide range of different projects including the development and implementation of what was – to our knowledge – the world's first video service for the ambulant care of elderly people, also several projects on socio-structural and socio-economic characteristics of the population groups concerned, as well as comprehensive policy consulting and market analysis projects.
An inter-disciplinary team with international project experience ensures that research results are both methodologically sound and of practical use to our customer.