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More people with intellectual disabilities are using the internet, but it's still very low

The research also found that less than one in twenty could send a text message.

Image: goodrob13/Flickr

INTERNET USE BY those with an intellectual disability (ID) has grown from 7.3% to 10.5% in the last three years, but it remains far below the general population’s usage.

According to a first of its kind study by Trinity College’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, the general population usage rate stands at 77%.

Computers

Just 12.6% of those with an ID were able to turn on a computer, according to the second wave of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

Ownership of mobile phones remains essentially the same at 23.8% and compares poorly with mobile phone ownership figures nationally.

The research also found that less than one in twenty people with an ID could send a text message.

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Lead Professor Mary McCarron said the issue of technology needs to be looked at.

“This is population that the technological age seems to have bypassed. One of the big issues is to prevent loneliness and further isolation due to their inability to communicate and network with friends,” she said.

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