Fearless Cards: a low-tech solution to help overcome emotional barriers to ICT adoption among marginalized populations

Ricardo Gomez, Ivette Bayo, Philip Reed, Cherry (Cong) Wang, Marisol Silva


We discuss access, skills, and emotional barriers to computer literacy among immigrant day laborers in the USA, and we prototype Fearless Cards (www.fearlesscards.org), a novel design to help these and other underserved communities overcome emotional barriers to computer and internet use. In addition to lacking technical skills, day laborers experience strong emotional barriers: fear, anxiety, lack of self-confidence, and limited English language skills. Through an iterative process of design and testing in partnership with a non-profit in Seattle, Washington, USA, we developed the Fearless Cards, a set of basic, easy-to-use instructions to help extremely underserved populations overcome their fears and lack of self-confidence to learn to use computers and the internet in ways that help them improve their lives. Fearless Cards are important because they help reach the deep pockets of exclusion and allow people who are extremely marginalized to gain self-confidence and break the emotional barriers that prevent them from starting to use computers and the internet.


ICTD; immigrants; day laborers; computer training; barriers; ICT

Full Text:


The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.
ISSN: 1681-4835 www.ejisdc.org