Among (suffocating) general presentations, mostly about aging well, I heard this as a straight cost-analysis conclusion - and found it interesting (at least worth sharing). Two different sessions I attended highlighted the exclusion cost. Cath Kelly (HM Customs and Revenue, UK) said about accessibility that it would be a lot more costly to do it later (or not at all). Another speaker said, addressing inclusive e-government, that it definitely costs less to include than to exclude. Some estimates suggest that as much as 30% of EU population is socially excluded/disadvantaged. While inclusive policies are emerging, they are clearly not enough. Imagine a 16 year old immigrant and pregnant, one speaker said. Normally she would run from one office to another. Can she recieve inclusive services to help her with all her needs at once or comprehensively?

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Comment by Adrian Popa on November 30, 2008 at 18:10
The answer is yes. But I think it applies to more than just employment issues. Aging is another example. I believe it would cost a national welfare system more to care for the elderly in an institutional context than to care for them in their own home (assuming of course that the elderly can be part of the information society). You can add to this list in fact the handicapped community, women in traditional societies, etc. e-Inclusion in the end is about investing now to minimise costs later.
Comment by Lize De Clercq on November 30, 2008 at 16:28
Hi Adrian!
I like your approach of picking this term "cost-analysis" and showing how inclusion versus exclusion is talked about in term of costs at this conference. But I wonder: what did they mean by the cost of excluding? Did they meant that digitally excluded people are often unemployed and costing money to the government because of that?

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