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

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, supported individuals 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 here.

“Recommendations

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, wny the campaign for accessible public health information is so important and also to broaden ideas od who are online creators and curators. Here is Andrewand other videao on People First's youtube account.

Catch up on all case studies so far here

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HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network is a network of voluntary and community sector organisations across London working for equality, rights and social justice and against discrimination. We are currently funded by City Bridge Trust, Trust for London and the National Lottery.

Under our Bridging Divides funding we work to ensure that specialist equality and human rights groups, particularly the smaller and user led ones, and the Londoners they work with, can connect and work together across London and across equality specialisms. With our members we work to make equality issues central in local and regional decision making, and to raise awareness and work more closely with universities, think tanks, professional bodies and business. This funding also supports our core activities as a network: regular bulletins and information provision, knowledge sharing, signposting, website and networking.

The Trust for London project funds our Policy and Campaigns work, which supports organisations to campaign together on equality and rights issues of joint importance. Currently campaigns are focused around support for Deaf and disabled refugees and asylum seekers, hate crime, mental health equality, LGBTQI+ diversity and Digital Exclusion. We lead for Disabled customers on the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum Equality Sub-Group, who work alongside the Home Office to ensure the rights of asylum seekers are protected, and facilitate Charities Challenging Hate Crime, the London pan equality hate crime network.

In the NetEquality project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities, through the Cornerstone Fund, dozens of smaller user-led and ‘grass roots’ equality groups and equality partners in London are working together. Over an initial two years, to mid 2021, we will design, test and pilot exciting new ways to use networking and online tools to strengthen our connections and quickly and easily share information and knowledge. We will be exploring ways to join up our voices for solidarity and influence and for more coordinated, effective campaigning to fight discrimination and improve equality in London. Through Stronger Together, funded by Awards for All, we provide activities and support for individual campaigners and those in the smaller, user-led and grass roots groups.
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