FIRST POSTED ON MAY 22 2020 AT 16:45
Today includem has published our Staying Connected report which looks at the digital inclusion of young people and families we support.
We were already living in an increasingly digital world, but the Covid-19 emergency has accelerated the introduction and use of digital technologies at an unprecedented rate. With lockdown and social distancing measures in place, many services and organisations, such as includem, are trying to continue to deliver services and support young people and families remotely via predominantly digital tools.
However, this approach requires families to have access to data, devices and digital knowledge. For those experiencing digital exclusion, therefore, this change in the accessibility and delivery of services could exacerbate existing problems of social isolation, exclusion from services, poverty and poor educational attainment.
It was essential for both the continued delivery of our own support to young people and families, as well as their ability to access other services and full participate in society, that we assess the levels of digital exclusion amongst the young people and families we support.
This report does just that. We heard from 150 young people and families about their experiences and collated it in this report, allowing us to identify and provide digital devices to those who need them and to make recommendations to Scottish Government about how digital exclusion can be tackled going forward.