Net Mapping Digital Exclusion 3rd March

3rd March, 4-5pm (arrivals from 3.30), Net Mapping to end Digital Exclusion

Net Mapping to end Digital Exclusion, Mar 3, 2021, 4-5pm (arrivals from 3.30, networking and questions until 5.30)

This is an introduction to Net Mapping and a chance for us to build a picture of who is challenging digital exclusion in London, how they are connected and where there are gaps.

It is part of the HEAR led Net Equality project.

You will need to register in advance and your details will be added to a private Net Map.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

22nd February 10.30am Net Mapping Housing Activists

22nd February 10.30-11.30, Net Mapping Housing activists and future Decent Homes as a Human Right events and hustings

HEAR members have told us that connecting pan equality and cross sector in London can help their priorities for housing rights, decent homes and good neighbourhoods.

HEAR are holding an event to start building a Net Map of London’s Housing activists and projects:

Monday 22nd February, 10am (arrivals) 10.30-11.30

Net Mapping Housing Activists

An introduction to Net Mapping for sharing and solidarity.

We have come together to work across our equality networks to build the NetEquality project, exploring how digital tools can help address some of the issues we are facing.

We know from our members that there is a stronger need than ever to find out information and share resources. We think that mapping our relationships and sharing expertise / resources / information can help to address inequalities by increasing opportunities for solidarity and strengthening campaigns.

For this weeks theme we are focusing on Housing, and what we can share and learn from other people working for this human right.

What will you get out of this event?

  • Learn more about NetMapping
  • Share and find out knowledge
  • Share and find out about connections
  • Join a community who actively share using digital tools
  • Meet other people to work together across-equality specialisms

Join us to put into practice working together and connecting pan-equality, to build solidarity and strengthen our campaigns!

You will need to

register in advance
Your details will be added to a private Net Map. Event will run from 10.30-11.30. You can join from 10 and there will also be time afterwards for questions and networking. HEAR is able to reimburse expenses incurred to overcome digital exclusion for user-led projects and experts by experience (details at the bottom of the page).

COVID 19 has shown that policies for the most at risk and excluded, like the Everyone In scheme, are deliverable and practical and that London can take the lead. The Grenfell fire provides a learning opportunity to prioritise people over profit, and where statutory must do better for communities after emergencies, so London can Build Back Better and continue to be a world leading city. Changes in working practices and lifestyle brought about during the pandemic have impacted on London high streets and property markets in unimaginable ways. Could London becoming the UK’s second Human Rights City mean London is a better home all Londoners?

HEAR, therefore, are co-producing and planning a series of events and a hustings during the week starting Monday 19th April on Decent Homes as a Human Right? to which the main London Mayoral candidates have been invited to particpate in a hustings

We will pay user-led projects and experts by experience to deliver workshops and presentations during this week of events, and would be keen to hear from members what they want, need and can offer. Please get in touch with your suggestions

Read more about HEAR’s work on Decent Housing as a Human Right here

Monthly Digital Inclusion in London Network

HEAR are hosting 2021’s first meeting of the Digital Inclusion in London Network.

Our members told us they would benefit from meeting regularly r to overcome #DigitalExclusion in London. January’s meeting is also open to policy makers, public sector colleagues and funders as well as frontline VCS/NGOs and Experts by Experience.

You can register for the event using this zoom


or sign up to HEAR’s DILN mailing list via this


You will need a zoom account to register and join the meeting.

HEAR offers grants to overcome digital exclusion and barriers to attendance. We can refund expenses of Expert by Experience, user-led organisations, smaller VCS. Further details below. Also do et us know about any access or communication needs.

If you have any questions please email HEAR’s Policy and Campaigns coordinator

Bring hacks to share, barriers you and those you work with have to overcome and techie tricks to learn.

HEAR’s 11th Digital Exclusion case study comes from
Community Action
a peer support group:
Getting Creative At Home

By Chris Pavlakis of Community Action

Community Action is a peer support group of persons with lived experiences in Greater London. They are a mixed group, with 37 members, the youngest is 38 years old and the oldest 65, and has members from BAME communities, members who identify themselves as males, females and non-binaries.

Community Action grew from three people who met in a digital storytelling workshop run by the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University that stayed in touch, met regularly for peer support, sharing about their mental health journey for comfort and support.

Understanding the needs of their community as well as digital exclusion led Community Action to develop Hybrid Remote working and accessibility to enable isolated people to stay connected and creative and encourage use of technology by building confidence and safe online spaces. Some recommendations and good practice below:

  • “Disabled People are seen primarily as ‘benefit claimants’ and ‘needy’ & their relationship with the system has a fundamental power imbalance;
  • Traditional, top-down approaches & assumptions turn out to narrow the scope of delivery in terms of digital services or training programmes;
  • Even if support was improved, the lack of trust in the system means disabled people may not engage.

Our suggestion against this context are in favor of a community-led approach as response:

  • Treating people as people;
  • Starting with people’s strengths;
  • Empowering people to make their own choices;
  • Support based on what people need, including but not limited to financial, emotional and technical support;
  • Starting where trust already exists…

Local services must work well together in partnership to meet people’s needs…

    • Community participation, particularly among those facing complex disadvantage, should be actively facilitated throughout design & delivery;
      • Funding & evaluation should promote collaborative, community-led support”

What we said in our Community Conversations

HEAR and its members have been working with a number of different stakeholders, including our colleagues at the GLA, to contribute to work on London’s recovery from Covid 19


HEAR has a wealth  of knowledge and lied experience amongst its membership, so we can speak from the grass roots about the impact on Londoners and what is needed going forward to ensure responses really are focused on the priorities  of those most adversely affected


Part of our contribution has been to take part in the Community Conversations exercise, to help shape  the ‘missions’ guiding London’s response


We will be sharing much more about the missions and recovery work soon but we wanted to let you know what was said in the Community Conversations


HEAR held a Conversation together with Superhighways, focused on digital inclusion as part of the recovery work,  and you can read what was submitted from this conversation here:


Digital across GLA recovery missions submission


and here


Community Conversation feedback on digital


HEAR and its members also contributed to a submission  on issues impacting on older Londoners across the different missions, and you can read that here:


London Age Friendly Forum Response to the draft Missions


We also submitted a response gathering up all the other issues raised by members, which included:


-Volunteering in the community is crucial but volunteers need better more structured support

-Concerns about access to primary health care through virtual means, this is not appropriate for many, concern that this will become ‘by default’

-There needs to be more joined up working at a local level between voluntary and community groups and statutory agencies across all sectors, and business, to build resilience  at a local level through partnership

-Transcultural models of health and well-being, not just westernised medical models, are important

-Trust building is vital, especially between the community and the health and social care system

-Community involvement needs to be real and genuine and not ‘tickbox’ or hampered by bureaucracy; poor engagement  processes do more harm than good

-Focus on smoking and obesity in health is too narrow, wider determinents of health such as poor housing, lack of access to green space, accessible and affordable means of exercise, air pollution  are all vital

-Intergenerational focus is vital

-More trust needs to be built to give people confidence to use public transport in London, e.g. wearing of masks is not being widely adhered to or enforced

-Collection of data on all aspects, both quantitative and quantitative, needs to be more robust and transparent



Thank you to everyone who took part, we already know from feedback from our colleagues at the GLA that the contributions from civil society organisations have had a substantive influence on how the missions are being shaped and developed. Look out for much more on HEAR and its members’ contributions to London’s recovery and how you can take part coming soon…..





HEAR is Recruiting! Deadline extended

HEAR has a vacancy – deadline 10th November

HEAR is looking for an hourly paid sessional worker to provide support for their Stronger Together project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All.

About HEAR:

HEAR, the London voluntary and community sector’s pan-equalities and human rights network, is connecting and supporting equalities specialists across all equality characteristics and across London to get their voices heard, and to influence policy and the environment within which people work for equality and human rights. We are doing this by acting as a strong and authoritative, regional pan-equalities voice and a combined source of knowledge and expertise on issues pertinent to equality, impacting on the voluntary and community sector and its effectiveness. HEAR’s values continue to be under-pinned by the conviction that those who have direct experience of inequality and discrimination are best placed to develop strategies to achieve equality.

About Stronger Together:

Stronger Together aims to support those HEAR network members across London from small community groups and grass roots and user-led organisations, and individual community campaigners, to bring them together for solidarity, increase confidence, reduce isolation, strengthen skills and celebrate success.

The work will be offered on a flexible sessional hourly paid basis until March 2021, approximately 21 hours per week at £12 per hour.

We will consider work on a self-employed or PAYE basis for the appointed person

Currently HEAR is operating on a ‘work from home’ basis whilst government restrictions remain in place

You will have good current skills in WordPress, a general good level of digital skills and ability to learn new applications and work under minimal supervision. You will ideally have previous experience of working in or with the voluntary and community sector, a commitment to equality and an understanding of digital accessibility and varied communication needs.

You can find full details on how to apply and the Job Description and Person Specification on the HEAR website here:


Hourly Paid Sessional Worker Job Description and person specification


To apply please submit a CV and covering letter, outlining how you meet the Person Specification, to:

by 9am on 11th November 2020

If you have any questions of clarification please address these to the same email or call 07466 119268

Interviews will be conducted Via Zoom week commencing 16th November 2020

HEAR’s 9th Digital Exclusion Case Study

HEAR’s 9th Digital Exclusion case study comes from Alliance for Inclusive Education:

Remote Education as set out in the Legislation


ALLFIE, the Alliance for Inclusive Education, is the only national organisation led by disabled people working on educational issues and, in particular, working to promote the rights of disabled students to be included in mainstream education (as set out in Article 24 of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities).


Under quarantining and cocooning ALLFIE wanted to know if remote learning was inclusive or discriminatory. ALLFIE and Disabled Students UK’s survey respondents identified five major barriers experienced in engaging in remote education that are detailed in their case study: adaptive and assistive technology, virtual platform accessibility, in-person support, and coursework and examination arrangements, alongside emotional wellbeing.

ALLFIE has also produced recommendations from survey results, Lived Experience and good practice and legislative knowledge developed since ALLFIE was founded in 1990.


Further research is needed to investigate the whole area of developing and supporting inclusive remote education… [meeting] legal and human rights obligations and duties. The remote education research must…involve disabled pupils and students…

The same duty for all education institutions to arrange remote education…that is inclusive of all disabled students.

The courses that disabled students have enrolled onto will be provided in a different manner if remote education is an unsuitable method of learning for them.

The Department for Education’s statutory guidance clearly setting out who is responsible for making various aspects of remote education inclusive of disabled students under both the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018,and Equality Act provisions…

Government enforcement regarding education institutions with websites and virtual online platforms that fail to comply…

OFSTED and Office for Students and other inspection bodies must have the power to inspect remote education…

Department for Education must clearly set out that remote education should complement rather than replace face-to-face learning.

The Department for Education must publish inclusive remote education good practice guidance.” #RemoteEducation #ChallengingDigitalExclusion #7DeadlySins



HEAR’s 8th Digital Exclusion Case Study

HEAR’s 8th Digital Exclusion case study

Remote Revolution into Reasonable Adjustments from CIIP

HEAR’s 8th Digital Exclusion case study comes from Chronic Illness Inclusion Project:
Turning the Remote Access Revolution into Reasonable Adjustments


The Chronic Illness Inclusion Project

is run by and for people with energy limiting chronic illness (ELCI) and 63% of respondents to this research described themselves as completely housebound or often/sometimes housebound. The quarantining and cocooning brought about by the pandemic created a seismic shift in how we connect and communicate. Remote access is a crucial tool for equality and inclusion for many disabled people who are not able to attend face-to-face meetings and events.

This case study is based on a survey of disabled people’s experiences of remote access and its recommendations will support people within society who will remain confined to their home after lockdown ends. Remote access should never be used as a cheaper alternative or shortcut to meeting disabled peoples’ rights and entitlements to get out and participate in work, education, civil society or community life.

This guide covers using digital for inclusion in:

Employment:including team meetings, training and workshops

Higher Education: including lectures and conferencesPolitical meetings: for members and officers.

Civic participation and co-production activities

Telehealth care is an important area of consideration that lies outside the scope of this study.

“Key Recommendations

● The technical side of remote access is crucial to ensuring inclusion and participation, but the attitude and commitment of organisers is just as important

● The role of the remote access facilitator is essential…

● Best results will be achieved with the involvement of an IT technician, both for the organiser and the attendee of the meeting.

● However, with commitment and creativity by organisers, remote participation can be achieved without professional IT involvement.

● Always have a trial of your technical set up before the event to check that it works and everyone knows their role. If possible include the attendees in the trial…

● Chairing skills and considerations are the same as for face-to-face meetings, but are even more important when including remote attendees

● The facilitator and the Chairperson must be separate roles, but they should work closely together”

CIIP founder Catherine Hale has also made a

Firstly to explain the work and secondly to broaden persceptions of online creators and curators

Read all our case studies and more


HEAR’s 7th Digital Exclusion Case Study

Digital Exclusion: another type of virus! case study from People First

HEAR’s 7th Digital Exclusion case study comes from People First:Digital Exclusion: another type of virus!

By People First

People First is a national user led self-advocacy organisation working with people with learning difficulties and their self-advocacy groups. Recognising the additional barriers and risks people with learning difficulties face during the pandemic People First quickly mobilised their Supporting Each Other Equals Power (SEOEP) service to find out how best to communicate, support individuals to connect, get online to join meetings, activities and attend appointments. They trained people with learning difficulties to facilitate online meetings. This peer support helped people who would have otherwise been socially isolated, provided safe online space for people to share concerns, information and ideas. It was also an opportunity to discuss the coronavirus guidance, which many people found confusing.

You can listen to People First Director Andrew Lee talk about the group


Commissioners and providers to fund digital support for social inclusion activities…

Government and local authority to have the expertise in place to produce accessible public health guidance for all at the point of publication.

A national funded programme of digital inclusion and digital skills development…

Resource self-advocacy groups to provide the support necessary to ensure people are digitally connected…

Ensure there are alternative routes for people to access support and services and stay connected to their communities.

Establish Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) relations with tech companies to increase access to internet and devices.

Accessibility standards for websites to be better promoted and enforced under the Equality Act and Human Rights Act”

Andrew Lee CEO of People First and some of the Expert by Experience activists have also made some videos. To explain the mutual aid group, why the campaign for accessible public health information is so important and also to broaden ideas Here is

and other videos on People First’s youtube account.

Catch up on all case studies so far


HEAR’s 6th Digital Exclusion Case Study

Parents And Communities Together – digital exclusion case study

HEAR’s 6th Digital Exclusion case study comes from Citizen UK’s Parents And Communities Together:

Parents and Communities Together Digital Inclusion project part 1, part 2 learnings, part 3 drawings


It is also avaialble in google doc form, where you can see the animated images produced by participants, that are also on HEAR’s Digital Exclusion webpage: Section 1: Case Studies, Section 2: Learnings, Section 3: Kids’ Artwork

PACT is a Southwark-based community project, under Citizens UK, that tackles social isolation experienced by many families in the area through peer support and community engagement in regular group activities. The pandemic forced PACT to move many of its services online and it quickly became clear that many of the parents were not able to join in because they either did not have any or enough devices, internet connection or digital knowledge.

Here is some of the learning and recommendations from PACT’s case study:

“What we have learned / What is important● Digitalexclusion is certainly not new, however the pandemic has… exasperated it.

●… it is also changing. It is therefore important we reflect and sharelearnings…

● Digital exclusion is multi-faceted and complex. We are dealing with multi-disadvantagesthat are entangled.

● Internal factors can be a barrier to inclusion…

● The project requires a lot more resources and time than we thought…

● Language is a barrier… This not only affects the detail provided during thephonecalls, but also the ability to get parents set up with digital support

● There is a great spectrum of digital abilities that we need to cater for…

● Not all schools provide the same digital support…

● Be cautiously ambitious…

● A renewed appreciation, and excitement in providing face-to-face support

● Having young children often makes the challenges even greater, as it isharder to find a moment to engage and learn.

What we want for the future

● We want to provide ongoing support for all our volunteers and Action Researchers…

● It is important that parents with lived experience, from our community,participate directly in the change…

● we want parents from the PACT community to lead Digital Champion sessions andsupport…

● For parents to feel confident, safe, empowered and independent when getting online…

● To advocate for Digital Inclusion through strategic campaigning, not just in accessto devices and the internet, but participation in the development of the digitalworld”