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”

HEAR is looking for a sessional worker to support our Stronger Together project-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 the Job Description and Person Specification 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:




Please include the names of 2 referees (we will not contact your referees unless you are offered the position)


Application deadline: by  5pm on 10th 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


If you need information in another format please let us know


More than Just Devices (but this is a good start) – Superhighways case study

Our next Digital Exclusion case study comes from Digital doyennes (and dudes), and partners with HEAR in Net Equality and Datawise, Superhighways:

Over-coming digital exclusion needs more than just devices (but this is a good start)
By Superhighways

Superhighways helps small charities with advice, training and IT support, helping London’s VCS become more effective, raise their profile and demonstrate their impact using digital technology.As an organisation with broad understanding of how vulnerable people and smaller charities, who don’t have access to technology or digital skills know-how can become easily isolated and exposed to risk.They saw the opportunity to apply for the DevicesDotNow offer organised through The Good Things Foundation’s Online Centre Network, jumped at it!

Download or share the case study details using the hashtags #MoreThanJustDevices and #ChallengingDigitalExclusion and read the recommendations below

1.Provide at least 3 months free mobile data with every device.
Not everyone has the luxury of connecting their new tablet to their home broadband. Providing a tablet without mobile data, is like giving someone a car without a set of keys. Public WIFI can present a risk to internet newbies from being hacked where you sit, and good practice guidelines should be made available in every facility that offers it…
2.Kookycat videos
The web isn’t just about finding support services, health information and searching for employment. It’s also about making life easier (and often cheaper)… staying in close touch with friends and let’s not forget the Kooky Cat Videos on You Tube. It’s the everyday that powers the net and as a trainer your role is to work out ‘a buy in point’…
3.Buyin from senior management team
Devicesdotnow presented a fantastic infrastructure project for charities and community groups to start connecting vulnerable people with services and support at a time of crisis. It is now time for senior management teams to take on the learning from projects like this… Organisations should build in human connection to their ongoing digital services to make these as effective and meaningful as possible, and not just a 2nd class offer”

Addressing Digital Inequalities Within the Armenian Community- case study b y CAIA

HEAR presents the next in our Digital Exclusion case studies from the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice and how they have addressed digital and social inequalities during the pandemic:

Addressing Digital Inequalities Within the Armenian Community
By the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA)

CAIA support the UK’s over 20,000 Armenians, from their centre in West London, and were well placed to adapt to the barriers created by ‘lockdown’ due to being user-led, understanding the needs of isolated and intersectional Armenians and having already been part of the Good Things Foundation’s Online Centres .

Download or share the case study details using the hashtags #DigitalInequalities and #ChallengingDigitalExclusion and read the recommendations below

Recommendation to overcome Digital Exclusion:

  • Teaching & Training courses:
    …when designing/planning any form of IT/digital training, an organisation should be aware of the both the learners state of mind as well as their existing skills sets.
  • Engaging BMER people in digital learning:
    Arrange IT/ digital classes in familiar settings such as community centres where they are already known and trust those who are seeking to teach them digital skills…
  • To Combat loneliness and social exclusion:
    Promoting and explaining the practical benefits of digital skills to the most marginalized…is a major challenge…Therefore, every effort should be made to explain the importance of digital inclusion to them in their own language…
  • Training and teaching Internet privacy and safety:
    Confidentially, data protection and internet privacy are paramount for people who have experienced persecution, discrimination and violence…
  • Financial barriers
    The elderly/low income/newly arrived BAM people often find it complicated or expensive to acquire an internet provider. To attend classes, it may require travel or one to one assistance…Reimburse traveling costs and child care to encourage learners’ attendance”

Digital poverty and increased isolation of LGBTI migrants during COVID-19 – Mirco Rainbow case study

HEAR presents the third Expert by Experience case study highlighting good practice, user-led interventions and recommendations to help communities, policy makers and funders to overcome digital exclusion:

“Digital poverty and increased isolation of LGBTI migrants during COVID-19
by Micro Rainbow

Due to their work with and understanding gained from their beneficiaries, 400 LGBTI migrants yearly, Micro Rainbow realised that tackling digital poverty was paramount during the pandemic. They were able to get LGBTI migrants online, provide continuing vital support to at risk LGBTI migrants and digitise two of their three programmes. Their Digital Social Inclusion work includes designing an experimental digital body movement programme and their Digital Moving On programme consists of a series of “Moving On” webinars on employability, accessing education, myths and realities about working, and legal workshops run by immigration lawyers.

Download or share the case study details using the hashtags #DigitalPoverty and #ChallengingDigitalExclusion and read the recommendations below


Home Office housing providers should equip their accommodations with WIFI for all asylum seekers: this will allow vulnerable migrants who live in poverty to stay connected with key services…

Funders should consider giving flexible grants that enable VCS organisations to top up their beneficiaries’ mobile phones…[and] also consider funding and evaluating experimental projects that explore and develop new digital delivery methods

VCS organisations should consider if their beneficiaries have access not only to mobile data and the relevant hardware (smart phones/tablets) but also to a safe space from which they can join without fearing, for example, of being outed to strangers.”

Remote Researchers – learning from experts by experience in digital inclusion – case study by CIIP

The second in HEAR’s series of Expert by Experience and academic case studies shares good practice developed by ‘house-bound’ remote researchers:

“Remote Researchers –
learning from experts by experience in digital inclusion”

by the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project

The Chronic Illness Inclusion Project research practice was developed by and with a community of disabled people living with energy limiting chronic illness (ELCI). It was adapted to meet the needs and circumstances of participants and Expert by Experience researchers. The practice developed was an extended online focus group. The purpose of this case study is to highlight their broader research, give the community a voice, and share and promote good practice, knowledge and experience CIIP developed in engaging ‘house-bound’ people in ‘Internet Mediated Research’. Their work has never been more applicable than in a post-pandemic, cocooning communities world.

Download or share the case study details using the hashtags #RemoteResearchers and #ChallengingDigitalExclusion

Some of the topics considered in the case study and wider CIIP research includes, cognitive difficulties – trouble concentrating, finding words, reading and writing, fluctuating energy and symtoms, and the ethical considerations of online work privacy, confidentiality, difficulties of safeguarding, establishing trust, risk of mental distress, risk from over-exertion and technical solutions to those challenges. See CIIP’s Ethics Review for more detail.

New Post of Interim Managing Director at HEAR

HEAR is pleased to announce that from 1st July 2020 the trustees have appointed an interim Managing Director to work with them and the staff team to take forward the development of the charity over the next 9 months.


You can contact the Director at: