The Post Office has today become the fiftieth organisation to back a national initiative to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities in accessing websites, smartphones and digital services.
Go ON Gold, a project aimed at helping people with disabilities participate fully in today’s digital society, has now gathered support from a huge range of organisations from public, private and third sectors. Together the partners are promoting online resources to help people; running campaign videos and taking their own actions to make the digital world a fairer place.
Others joining the campaign include local councils such as Trafford and Wokingham; national charities such as Guide Dogs for the Blind and Sense; housing associations and software developers.
With the right technology in place, being connected to the digital world is hugely empowering – helping people to shop, bank, socialise and work independently.
The Go ON Gold website acts as a focus for key resources and expertise to help people get online and also features a number of videos by high profile disabled individuals such as Paralympian peer and disability rights campaigner, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Go ON Gold co-founder and chair of the RNIB Group, Kevin Carey, said: “More than half of the eight million UK citizens who have never used the internet are disabled. At a time when digital access plays an ever-increasing role in almost every aspect of our lives, these statistics are shocking and unacceptable. Our campaign highlights the help which is available, encourages others to help point non-users in the right direction and shows businesses and organisations how much society as a whole can gain by sharing such knowledge.”
Mark Davies, Director of Communications at the Post Office said: “As a founding partner of Go ON UK, we are already committed to promoting the benefits of the internet to those who need help to build their skills and confidence.
“A growing concern for disabled users is high on our agenda. We want to ensure that everyone, particularly those who are socially isolated due to a physical or vision impairment, can enjoy the advantages of internet access. Our new Get Connected campaign allows anyone to go into one of our 11,800 branches and have their nearest internet access and training points printed off free of charge.”
While many of us are aware of the physical barriers faced by disabled people like lack of wheelchair access and ramps, the issues around getting online if you are blind or partially sighted, have a physical impairment or a cognitive difficulty, are less obvious.
Go ON Gold is funded by social investor Nominet Trust. To find out more about the campaign and become our next partner organisation, or help as an individual, visit: www.go-on-gold.co.uk