Today, digital equity is more important than ever. In a society that is heavily centered around technology, with most services moving online, many people face a disadvantage if they do not have access to the resources, or skills needed.
Some people within our society are more likely to be digitally excluded than others, and this includes those who experience homelessness, do not have a job, or are on low income.
That’s why, The Passage established a Digital Inclusion Programme in 2022, which has already helped a number of people to access and utilise technology, to improve their communication and quality of life.
What are the barriers that someone may face to digital inclusion?
There are a variety of barriers that can prevent someone from being digitally included. For example:
- If someone does not have access to a mobile phone/tablet/computer or the internet
- If someone does not know how to navigate the internet, or the skills to use certain online services/platforms
- If someone lacks confidence in using technology, or isn’t aware of what is available to them online
The Passage’s Digital Inclusion Programme
Our Education and Employment Team developed a Digital Inclusion Programme, in which they provide 1-2-1 training.
The aim of this programme is to reduce the digital divide that those who experience or become at risk of homelessness face.
This training is designed to equip The Passage’s service users with the skills necessary to be able to access and use essential services online, independently.
Since its development, the programme has helped our service users to:
- Access their Universal Credit (UC) journal and communicate with their UC coach
- Research various topics online, such as job opportunities
- Apply for jobs, and navigate their way to interviews
- Stay up-to-date with the news
- Download and use different applications
- Use social media to reconnect and contact their friends and family
- Communicate with their Key Worker at The Passage, meaning they are always able to receive our support.
The Passage also runs computer access sessions, alongside a digital drop-in twice a month facilitated by volunteers. These sessions offer visitors regular online access and a supportive environment for digital assistance.
In the future, we hope to continue building on this programme, focusing on new topics such as Canva training to continue improving these skills.
To support the programme, Landsec, SocialBox, and Techary have kindly donated laptops which can also be given to service users, allowing them to practice and maintain the skills they’ve learned to continue to stay digitally connected.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to the AT&T team for sponsoring this programme and working to close the digital divide.