Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting people at higher risk - survey of third sector organisations

This report examines findings from a survey of 530 third sector organisations in Scotland who supported people through the COVID-19 pandemic over March to August 2020.

Annex B: Full quote from disability charity on digital exclusion

‘Digital exclusion is overwhelming in this community and so hardware, connection and ongoing support for learning and maintaining a digital connection are required to change that.  Across the national membership of this organisation (1100+) that digital exclusion takes many forms.  It can be due to where and what type of setting people live in; what, if any social care or other support they receive and their income, which is almost universally low and benefit based.

In some cases financial decision making is denied the person themselves and those decisions are made by others.

Some active members may quite confidently use digital while others do not. 

The members who are less active within the organisation or difficult to reach because they stay in rural areas or face transport barriers are isolated at all times but that has been made very much worse by the restrictions due to the pandemic.

WiFi may be in place where the person lives but the support may not be in place to facilitate their access.

If you have a device but struggle to use it you are excluded.

If you have no way to pay for connection or for a device you are excluded.

If you require support to safely navigate online you are excluded.

If you can access some sites but find others (often those which allow access to services and supports) present barriers or have no accessible information on offer you are excluded.

If others in your life dictate whether you can or cannot access and use a device and connection then you are excluded.

The examples provided above do not cover the entire list of barriers faced by members.

The Connecting Scotland scheme currently fails to recognise that all citizens with learning disabilities may require support to be digitally connected.

Services advice, benefit applications, emotional support, connection with community, education, social interaction and clarity on the guidance is almost entirely accessed on line. The support for citizens who have learning disabilities to access that is not in place.’



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