We want to setup a new project called Enrych Connect (Oxfordshire to run alongside our current service supporting adults with a physical disability living in Oxfordshire.
Initially this would be the cohort of people we would support plus their carers but, in time we would look at including people with other disabilities from across Oxfordshire.
Disabled people are statistically less likely to have digital access and experience more isolation, social deprivation and hardship as a result.
* 1 in 4 disabled people feel lonely on a typical day (Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness)
* 27% of disabled people don’t have access to the interest compared with 11% of the rest of the population (Office for National Statistics 2015)
* Disabled people’s day to day living costs are typically 25% higher than nondisabled people (Papworth Trust 2018).
A service offering free one-to-one training including purchase of device and support for installation of broadband would really make a difference to individuals which was particularly highlighted as a need/benefit during Covid-19. We recognise that technology, and the way we interact with it, is changing rapidly. Our expert team will review and assess new innovations with our platform of solutions constantly evolving.
However, the areas we are currently looking to provide include:
- Support to find and install the most appropriate broadband solution,
- Access to the internet – through the most appropriate means for the person (eg PC, tablet, smartphone, smart TV etc)
- Accessible devices and adaptations - suitable for to the person’s disability
- Opportunities for social engagement tailored to the person’s needs (eg social media, email, Skype, online support groups)
- Adaptions around the home using new smart devices (eg Echo, Alexa) to increase independent living o Staying safe on line - increased confidence and skills to avoid scams or ‘fake news’
- New innovations Examples: o SociAbility - the first freely-available accessibility guide for social venues for people with physical disabilities.
Use of smart devices to allow greater social engagement It is a new project for the Enrych Oxfordshire Branch but this service has been operating very successfully in Leicestershire & Derbyshire for several years so we have their experience to call on in the early days. As we are starting from nothing we plan to cautiously start in North Oxfordshire and plan to employ at least one additional coordinator with IT experience, to support the service. We also have a very experienced volunteer in North Oxfordshire who has offered his IT skills to support us on a voluntary basis. He is passionate about the opportunity this gives people and is excited to help us roll this out.