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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2021

Bissane Harb and Dina Sidani

In light of the emphasis on “inclusion” in the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the notion of social inclusion encompasses the goal of granting opportunities for disabled…

Abstract

Purpose

In light of the emphasis on “inclusion” in the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the notion of social inclusion encompasses the goal of granting opportunities for disabled people, integrate them and make them participate in the new environment. Referring to the capability theory, the purpose of this study is to examine the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the social inclusion of disabled young people in Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a qualitative approach based on a series of focused semi-structured interviews with 11 participants occupying key positions in aid associations for disabled people.

Findings

The findings suggest that smart technologies can enhance social inclusion through three key factors: the nature of impairment and other personal characteristics of disabled people, the resources available to them and the environmental aspects provided by government policies and society’s cultural practices. In the contemporary society characterized by an increasing role of ICTs, the findings of this research could contribute to lead the developing countries to a sustainable and inclusive world through social inclusion of their youth.

Research limitations/implications

This study has some limitations that should be mentioned. First, it was conducted only on a small sample size (with 11 interviewees). Further empirical research must be conducted on larger sample to build and elaborate on the findings. Second, the results are mainly based on the points of view of people working in aid associations for disabled people. In future research, semi-structured interviews can be carried out with the disabled people themselves or with members of their family to ask them about their personal experience with smart technologies and the impact of this on their social inclusion. It was also suggested that the future research should explore the challenges of inclusion for different categories of disabled people separately because they are not all facing the same issues and the same challenges. Furthermore, as this paper focuses on the role of smart technologies in the development of social inclusion of disabled people, future research could take place with other groups, for example, Palestinian and Syrian refugees, to identify whether these groups are experiencing similar challenges and barriers when trying to use smart technologies as a way to enhance their social inclusion.

Practical implications

Related to a larger and broader approach, social inclusion of disabled or marginalized people or refugees in developing countries could be a way to commit to a sustainable and inclusive world, in alignment with the eight goals of the Millennium Development Goals.

Originality/value

Related to a larger and broader approach, social inclusion of disabled or marginalized people or refugees in developing countries could be a way to commit to a sustainable and inclusive world, in alignment with the eight goals of the Millennium Development Goals.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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