People First LTD is a national user led self-advocacy organisation working with people with learning difficulties and their self-advocacy groups. Our mission is to promote the voice of people with learning difficulties as equal and valued citizens.
We give information, advice, support, and training to break down the barriers we face. Many people with learning difficulties were struggling before Covid-19, with reduced services and support, cuts to benefits, inaccessible assessments and even less support and opportunity to get online than the rest of the population.
COVID-19 has seen the digital divide between those who have access to information and communications technology and those who do not, increase. This has given rise to to inequalities in access to opportunities; knowledge; services; and goods. In turn this has had a negative impact on mental health; anxiety levels; emotional wellbeing and living independently in the community.
Being able to connect with people, services and information helps people with learning difficulties to maintain their independence; social connections; access to financial information and other services.
During Lockdown, limited support, or in some cases the withdrawal of support, resulted in people finding themselves even more isolated.