[community] Is COVID Alert an Inclusive Design Fail?

John Willis pickupwillis at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 22:27:31 UTC 2020


 Thanks Roland, Michael., Justin for your great responses – this has enlightened me and I really appreciate it.

Working in the area of social assistance and digital transformation, there are a lot of assumptions being made in government about the spread of digital technology and its ubiquity in low income communities. While it is obvious that in urban areas most people now have a smart phone, the variation in operating systems and how old they are, not to mention the difficulty of Wi-Fi access in more rural areas, makes the situation far more complicated

Does anyone know of any quantitative analysis in Ontario or Canada of low income families and individuals and their specific digital access?

Thanks

John D. Willis
Design & innovation in Public Services


> On Aug 4, 2020, at 17:21, Roland Van Oostveen <ROLAND.VANOOSTVEEN at uoit.ca> wrote:
> 
> When I heard this report I immediately thought that the failure to install on older platforms might be due to the use of BlueTooth technology (for security purposes) that allows the app to work in the first place. If it could be installed on older mobile OSs but couldn’t do what it is supposed to, where would that get us. This is similar to the issues that MS had with Windows and support for all of the older equipment. Eventually even MS got to the point where obsolescence is built into the OS, I.e., nobody can run Windows95 anymore.
> 
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> 
> Roland
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> Roland van Oostveen
> 
> Director, BA in ESDT Programs
> Associate Professor - Faculty of Education
> Ontario Tech University
> 905.721.8668 ext. 2657
> 905.767.5993 (cell)
> roland.vanoostveen at uoit.ca<mailto:roland.vanOostveen at uoit.ca>
> ontariotechu.ca<http://ontariotechu.ca>
> 
> [Ontario Tech University logo]<https://ontariotechu.ca/>
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> 
> [Twitter icon]<https://twitter.com/rolandvo>
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> [LinkedIn icon]<https://linkedin.com/in/roland.vanoostveen@uoit.ca>
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> 
> Ontario Tech University is the brand name used to refer to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
> 
> 
> The university is proud to acknowledge the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation which is covered under the Williams Treaties. We are situated on the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation which includes Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi.
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> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
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> 
> From: John W (personal)<mailto:pickupwillis at gmail.com>
> Sent: August 4, 2020 4:39 PM
> To: Inclusive Design Community<mailto:community at lists.idrc.ocadu.ca>
> Subject: [community] Is COVID Alert an Inclusive Design Fail?
> 
> 
> 
> [EXTERNAL EMAIL]
> 
> the new Covid Alert app just released in Ontario apparently requires users
> to have the latest device / software, leaving low-income and more
> marginalized folks -- aka people most likely to contract the virus -- out
> of the loop.
> 
> I verified this myself yesterday when I could not install it to my iPhone 6
> because it requires iOS 13.5
> 
> WTF? is this an inclusive design fail of top ranking, or can someone with
> greater technical knowledge dismiss my budding outrage?
> 
> maybe it's just an MVP, okay - but surely the communication on this is
> feeble and misguided because word is already out that it's for the
> privileged few. Sheesh!
> 
> j
> 
> --
> 
> *John D. Willis | CE CAIP MDes*
> Design & Innovation in Public Services
> Toronto CANADA
> 
> Garbled text? My apologies - speech-to-text technology is still a work in
> progress...
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