Learning to reconnect: how a tablet helped Isobel

Disabled people feel lonelier and more isolated than others both before and during Covid-19*. 

Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures found that around 41% of disabled people feel anxious. One in ten disabled people is scared to go out, compared to 29% and one in 25 of non-disabled people*.

Supporting Isobel who has a learning difficulty

A picture of Isobel on her sofa with her dogIsobel, 31, from Alness, has a learning difficulty and lives with her dog (Ollie, pictured) but was feeling very isolated.

However, in a time of physical distancing, she's embraced technology to keep in touch with family and friends, with the help of UK charity AbilityNet.

The pan-disability charity believes in a digital world accessible to all. When Isobel got in touch with volunteer Chris Grant, he pulled out all the stops to get her a tablet. 

“Chris linked me in with a local charity to obtain a tablet,” said Isobel. “And AbilityNet’s team of volunteers showed me the best way to use it, and how to use it safely,” she added. 

Keeping in touch with family and friends

While she's apart from family and friends, she has been able to stay in touch using the tablet.

“The best thing about tech is keeping in touch with friends and family via messenger and Facebook. It also keeps me entertained by looking at things such as Instagram,” said Isobel. 

She’s still learning but also hopes to use the device to access activities online. “However, I really enjoy taking part in a local DJ’s Karaoke stream and engaging with the community,” she said. 

Isobel says her confidence has improved with help from AbilityNet, which has over 300 volunteers providing FREE tech help to disabled and older people. 

“I’m gaining more confidence and will be supported by Chris from AbilityNet to learn more so I can do more with my tablet,” said Isobel.

“Having my tablet and phone makes such a huge difference and can keep in touch with friends.”

Figures show that of the 3,541people at home supported by AbilityNet during 2020:

  • 86% felt more confident
  • 82% felt better able to use technology,
  • 72% felt more independent
  • 68% less isolated

For more about the difference we make, see our Impact Report

*Disabled people more lonely and anxious

How AbilityNet can help

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