AbilityNet pledges to end digital poverty by 2030

According to the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA), 10 million people in the UK are lacking the most basic skills in using a computer or the internet. At AbilityNet, we champion the imperative for a digital world accessible to all, and that is why we have pledged to help end digital poverty by 2030. 

AbilityNet is a Community Board Member of the DPA, an organisation established by the Learning Foundation, Currys plc and the Institute of Engineering and Technology, committed to ending digital poverty. We have been working with the DPA team and 28 other community board members to build the evidence base and feed into the delivery plan. 

First stepsUK Digital Poverty evidence review 2022 front cover

On Monday 28th June 2022, we joined the DPA at the UK House of Lords to launch the landmark evidence review by Dr Kira Allmann which - for the first time - pulls together the evidence on digital poverty in the UK. 

The UK Digital Poverty Evidence Review 2022 is a collection of learnings from over 100 different reports, consultation activities and the DPA’s Parliamentary Summit. It sets out:  

  • What digital poverty is 
  • Why it matters 
  • What needs to be done 

It shares 5 intertwined ‘determinants’ of digital poverty that must be addressed simultaneously to end digital poverty. They are: 

  1. Devices and connectivity 
  2. Access 
  3. Capability 
  4. Motivation 
  5. Support and participation 
We offer a range of services, including student and workplace assessments, workplace inclusion servicesdigital accessibility services, and a free helpline. Our team of volunteers also offer one-to-one tech support at home or help remotely. You can also discover our free online tool My Computer My Way and our free factsheets. 

Closing the digital dividePaul Finnis, CEO of DPA, speaking into a microphone

AbilityNet welcomes the findings of the report and in our contributions to the evidence review, underlined the need for a sustainable, joined-up approach to addressing the determinants it identifies. We also highlighted the additional barriers experienced by disabled and older people and how considering accessibility as a ‘must-do’ component of the delivery plan will benefit everyone:  

“More than ever, the Digital Divide is impacting on the lives of the most disadvantaged in our communities" said Amy Low, Service Delivery Director at AbilityNet. "It is important that a sustainable approach is taken to address this. Providing devices and data for individuals without identifying what will motivate them to take their first steps or providing the right kind of support and guidance to build digital skills could be a missed opportunity to provide positive impacts and improvements to their lives. For disabled users this is even more important."

"Barriers exist in the digital world as well as in the physical world. Providing timely advice on assistive technologies, operating system adjustments, hardware and apps that can help is crucial in building the confidence of users and demonstrating that independent use of digital is possible for everyone.”

Make your pledge

The collaborative approach is going to be key to executing the delivery plan and the DPA are approaching this by collating a nationwide support map and also inviting organisations to ‘pledge’ their support.  

We’ve pledged our support to help raise awareness, signpost to resources and collaborate on joint projects to support end users. We invite you to make your pledge and help put an end to digital poverty.  If you are an organisation that is looking to partner with us to provide support in this area get in touch with us at enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk.

You can also join our Digital Poverty Alliance Room: Tech & Disability - a space to talk about how technology can help if you are disabled. You'll also get instant access to the DPA Global Community Hub. 

Join our Digital Poverty Alliance Room: Tech & Disability 

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