Previous studies have found that people with disability report a lower level of life satisfaction compared to people without disability. People with disability are likely to experience difficulties in accessing information due to their disability, and it may lead to social exclusion. The social exclusion due to the difference in information level can be a factor that negatively affects life satisfaction of people with disability. However, little is known about the effects of information level on life satisfaction of people with disability and its associative factors, especially by disability type. Thus, using a nationally representative sample in Korea, the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of information level on life satisfaction of people with disability and its associative factors by type of disability.
Data were obtained from second data of the ‘The Report on The Digital Divide 2017’, which was investigated by National Information Society Agency of South Korea.The sample included 2,193 people with disability in Korea. A series of multiple regression analysis was conducted as follows; first, to examine the effects of information level and disability type on life satisfaction of people with disability, a regression model was conducted with the entire sample. Second, to examine the variation in the effects of information level on life satisfaction of people with disability, four sets of regression models were conducted with each of disability type group separately (i.e., hearing/language disability, physical disability, brain lesion disability, visual disability).
After controlling for covariates, the results of regression model with the entire sample show that higher information level, the more women than men, older age, more household income were likely to increase life satisfaction of people with disability. In terms of disability type, the hearing/language disability group presented better life satisfaction when compared to their physical disability group counterparts. Regardless of disability type, information level was found to be a significant predictor of life satisfaction. However, significant factors associated with life satisfaction were different by disability type. Specifically, physical disability group, information level, age, degree of disability, and household income had significant effects on life satisfaction, while only information level had a significant effect on life satisfaction among brain lesion disability group. As for visual disability group, information level and household income had significant effects on life satisfaction. Finally, information level and household income had a significant effect on life satisfaction among hearing/language disability group.
Conclusions and implications :
Study findings demonstrate that information level has a significant effect on life satisfaction of people with disability, and the factors associated with life satisfactions varies by disability type. Considering the different characteristics of people with disability, helping professionals should make an effort on developing specialized and tailored educational programs, which improve information level of people with disability. Furthermore, policymakers should make an effort on increasing accessibility to those programs by providing technological devices through governmental financial assistance.