7 reasons to get online in Get Online Week

To celebrate Get Online Week run by The Good Things Foundation, we’re exploring seven ways getting online can help disabled people and older people; one for every day of the week.

Get Online Week 2020 runs from October 19-25.

1. Supporting older and disabled people through Covid-19

Shows a hand holding a mobile phone. The screen display is a cartoon face wearing a face maskPeople have turned to the internet during the global pandemic. Forbes claims that internet usage has increased by as much as 70%.

During the pandemic, we know people have been using the internet to Stay in Touch with friends and family, and for work, including hosting accessible online meetings.

Abilitynet responded to the pandemic by hosting a series of FREE Abilitynet LIVE! webinars. Visit the page to see recordings, and what’s next. 

2. Reducing Loneliness and Social Isolation

We’re living in difficult times, and there’s a role for technology to play in terms of reducing feelings of social isolation.

AbilityNet has a team of 300+ volunteers who can support older and disabled people using technology. The service is FREE and has a multitude of benefits. For example, we know support from an Abilitynet volunteer makes people feel less isolated and also increases confidence. 

To arrange help from a volunteer call our helpline 0300 180 0028

Please note: calls to our helpline number cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls, and AbilityNet does not receive any money from these calls

3. Access AbilityNet’s FREE resources

We know there can be challenges in getting online, and in making the most of your tech. AbilityNet will support you to adapt your tech if you are older or are disabled.

You can access FREE factsheets on topics such as Vision impairment and Computing, Windows Keyboard Shortcuts, and more.

Image shows the My Computer My Way logoOur FREE tool My Computer My Way offers step-by-step guides to making individuals adjustments to your laptop, mobile or desktop regardless of the operating system. You can search by need across Vision, Hearing, Motor and Cognitive.

4. Remote Access Support from our volunteers

The pandemic has put on pause the FREE home visits our volunteers deliver, but it hasn’t stopped them offering support to those who need it.

We’ve been supporting people remotely using Remote Access Software TeamViewer and forged a new sense of community at the same time. For support from a volunteer call our helpline on 0300 180 0028 or fill out an online request.

Find out how our volunteers have been going the extra miles to help people during the lockdown.

5. Get support while at University

Technology can help people with health conditions and impairments to succeed in education.

We also have a range of expert resources to support education service providers and anyone else who wants to help students with disabilities to achieve their goals in education.

Visit the Higher Education (HE) Services section of our website to find out more.

6. Access peer support online

Image shows a skeleton with the brain highlighted in red symbolising a strokeConnecting with people who share similar challenges to you can help with understanding, mental health and be an invaluable source of support. Over the past year, AbilityNet focussed on a range of specific conditions and highlighted online forums that can offer help.

For example, there are forums to support people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and online peer support for stroke survivors.

The Stroke Association also offers support through My Stroke Guide

7. Delivering accessible website for all

COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role of the internet for individuals, and for businesses to maintain services.

However, if websites aren’t accessible, then companies are missing out on the so-called Purple Pound, which represents several billions of pounds worth of potential profits.

Further research from the Click-Away Pound survey shows that if your website isn’t accessible, disabled customers will take their business elsewhere and collectively companies could be missing out on £17 billion worth of revenue. 

AbilityNet offers a range of accessibility services to help companies understand accessibility and meet international accessibility standards. 

How AbilityNet can help

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

  • Call our helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We're open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0300 180 0028
  • Please note: calls to our helpline number cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls, and AbilityNet does not receive any money from these calls
  • We have a range of factsheets that talk in detail about technology that might help you, which you can download for free. You may find our factsheets about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

AbilityNet accessibility services

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