Category Archives: internet

“It is a human right to be empowered to communicate”

Thousands of people in the UK may be living without access to a powered communication aid that would enable them to have a voice, according to research.

News, 3rd May 2013.

The research, Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, by augmentative and alternative communication (ACC) charity Communication Matters, found that 316,000 people in the UK are benefiting or may benefit from AAC support. Of those, 31,600 could be using powered communication aids yet only around 9,000 are.

The findings, which found great variation in service provision across the UK, stem from research carried out by the University of Sheffield. It highlights there is little consistency in identifying, assessing and providing AAC devices and many local areas are failing to make effective provision.

Family Carers need the internet for support and friendship

Why it’s important to get older people and carers confident online

Rates of digital exclusion in social care are higher than in the general populationShare0

Elderly person using computer

One of the biggest barriers to being online is lack of confidence. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

The government’s digital by default agenda seeks to realise £1.8bn of savings by moving transactions with citizens online and it aims to boost the value of the economy by £63bn by developing better digital skills across the country.

Evidence suggests that being net savvy can save us time, money, make us feel better connected, less lonely and better informed. Conversely, being digitally excluded means having less (and diminishing) access to public and commercial services, to information and advice and to social interaction, all of which adversely impacts on wellbeing.

When depression affects 20% of older people living in the community and 40% living in elder care homes, compared with 10% of the population at large, and when national data shows that informal carers have lower levels of wellbeing than non-carers, being digitally literate is not just desirable, it becomes necessary.

Digital Unite research has shown that of those over 55s who are using the internet, four out of five (86%) said it had improved their lives, 72% said being online had helped reduce their feelings of isolation and 81% said using the internet makes them feel part of modern society. In addition, 20% of older learners in a Digital Unite social housing learning programme felt their understanding of health-related issues had improved as a result of being online.

Helping older people to get on the internet

Laptop scheme to get older people online

2:49pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News By Journal Reporter

OLDER people are being helped to get online through a scheme to provide low cost, refurbished laptops.

Wiltshire Council and Age UK Salisbury District are working in partnership to refurbish the council’s old laptops and sell them for £50 to those who need them most, with the cost covering the work done on them.