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QR codes prove a useful digital inclusion tool

From Hannah France, Digital Inclusion Practitioner Trainer, Digital Communities Wales

There are many tools which can help people access the internet quickly and comfortably. One of the tools I like to use is QR codes.

QR code

QR codes (QR is short for “Quick Response”) are images that look at lot like barcodes (you can see an example on this post). Each code represents a particular website link and can be read by a QR code reader. QR code readers can be downloaded for free on mobile phones and tablets. They use your camera to scan the code, and open the website link – quick and easy! You may see QR codes on bus stops, websites, menus, information leaflets – if you see a code, you can scan it. It’s also easy to make QR codes. You can Google for a QR code generator online, and then simply add the web address to generate your own code which you can download.

I love using QR codes when I train. It’s in the name – I can quickly get a group of participants onto the same websites, without having to wait for people to type in a web address.

They are also wonderful for accessibility issues. Some people may find it challenging to type on tablets and smart phones, and using QR codes means they can access a variety of websites without having to type in the address. They can also be useful for people with dyslexia or visual impairments, as a quick scan can help them access a website, rather than typing in long or challenging web addresses. It also gives them the opportunity to use their own technology – they can scan a code using their mobile phones if that’s what they feel comfortable with.

QR codes are just one of many tools we can use to help people navigate the internet easily.