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A collaboration between Kids and the Disabled Children’s Partnership, ‘Locked Out’: Digital Disadvantage of Disabled Children, Young People and Families during the Covid-19 Pandemic demonstrates how many disabled children, young people and their families experienced positives and negatives as digital became the main medium to access vital services, education and to prevent isolation. It explores how user led design and investment in digital services could provide equal access and be a lifeline for families for the future. Importantly, it illustrates that digital access is now essential and not a luxury.
Zoe Amar, FCIM Founder and Director of Zoe Amar Digital, said:
“This vital report highlights what it’s like to experience the digital divide through the eyes of disabled children, young people and families during the pandemic. It’s a timely reminder that we need to learn from their stories and put accessibility at the centre of how we design online services, and commit to solving this complex challenge together.”
Alex Barker, Advice & Information Officer at Abilitynet, said:
“The work that Kids have done to highlight the digital disadvantage that disabled children and their families are facing, is so incredibly important. Many people who aren’t connected to the digital world are missing out on basic things like online supermarket shopping, online doctors’ appointments and staying connected to their support networks. If there is no awareness of the challenges disabled children, young people and their families are facing, in this areas then nothing will change and there will be an ever increasing digital divide that will be even harder to rectify.”