Our members asked us to work with them to highlight Digital Exclusion, and how it impacts on the most marginalised, excluded and impoverished.
Many of the communities and intersectional people who are most digitally excluded are also those most at risk of Covid 19; older people, disabled people, people who are homeless or in insecure housing, those in prison, detention and ex-offenders, people with insecure immigration status, or you speak English as an additional language, those who may move around like Gypsy, Roma and Traveller and refugee communities and many other excluded Londoners.
Reasonable adjustments, changes made so disabled people are able to overcome the barriers that disable us, are an anticipatory statutory duty. This means public servants must be prepared for what disabled people need before they are asked.
In terms of public health, emergency and pandemic plans and delivery this means local and central Government have to be able to communicate these important messages offline, in BSL, Easy Read etc., so their health, safety and rights are protected. Try using our briefing on 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Exclusion to help statutory services better understand their duties and so they can find practical ways to meet their obligations.
This global pandemic, that highlights the inequalities and intersectional discrimination HEAR members challenge every day, gives us opportunities to come together virtually and take advantage of ‘new technology’ to involve everyone in the digital revolution. For example:
- Learn how, try out and practice working and socialising virtually and share your experiences with one another
Digital doyennes Superhighways have already helped loads of London VCS get working remotely safely and they’ve turned some of their expertise into helpful hacks and are sharing other good practice and an important survey to feed into Charity Digital Skills Report complete the 2020 survey by 3 April. They will continue to update and skill up the sector so sign up to their or our mailings
- Encourage and support digitally excluded to get online
We want to hear about how to get digitally excluded people and organisations online. Skills sharing, content creation and curation, overcoming risk and privacy fears to get intersectional Londoners digital during this emergency and before
- Use social and other new media to create solidarity and raise the voices of the excluded
A number of HEAR members have been using social media to highlight disimcriminatory policy and practice during the Corona crisis. Some have got some wins, others are still working, so let’s support one anothers campaigns and highlight User-Led and Expert by Experience voices like Disabled campaigners, Homeless experts and GRT run organisations. If you’ve got a campaign needing pan-equality solidarity get us to include it in our bulletins and on social media email Nothing About Us Without Us!
We had planned to run a series fo events to publicise our members #DigitalExclusion work. We will now use some of the budget to pay members to write up casestudies, good practice, learning and lessons about overcoming digital exclusion. More details to follow but email mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk to express an interest and to find out more, or via www.tinyurl.com/HEARDE.