As part of the cycle of lectures by new researchers at the Institute of Social Sciences, dr Dejan Masliković, a Research Associate from the Centre for Sociological and Anthropological Research, held a lecture on May 18, 2023 in the Great Hall of the Institute of Social Sciences on the topic “The role of digital technology in the development of an inclusive society”.
The lecture was devoted to the impact of modern, digital technologies on the advancement and improvement the position of persons with disabilities. Firstly, in the introduction of the lecture, the definition and classification of disability was given, emphasizing the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches, including the medical, social and functional model advocated by the World Health Organization.
During the lecture, it was emphasized that in addition to a large number of state institutions that systematically deal with the protection of persons with disabilities, first of all, their material, social and health status, several hundred associations, federations of persons with disabilities, citizens’ associations, funds and foundations are also registered in our country. All these organizations, at a certain level, achieve results that contribute to the improvement of the position of persons with disabilities in Serbia.
However, this is not enough for the results to be felt at the individual level and to lead to key changes in the quality of life of persons with disabilities. The fundamental problem is the selection of the most adequate model of inclusion of persons with disabilities in all social activities, taking into account the economic position of the state, the existing institutional infrastructure and the mentality of citizens. Consequently, the lecture aimed to show how the use of digital technology can contribute to improving the position of persons with disabilities.
Based on the results of the previously conducted research, the author highlighted the key problems faced by persons with disabilities – education, difficult material situation and access to state authorities. It was established that persons with disabilities insufficiently use modern information and communication technologies in providing certain services and education. The unfavorable financial and payment ability of persons with disabilities is highlighted as the reason.