UK launched £2.5m fund to improve digital inclusion for people with learning disabilities

The UK government announced a new Digital Lifeline scheme that provides a £2.5 million fund to secure devices, data, and digital support to low income people with learning disabilities. Through this fund, 5,000 internet tablets will be preloaded with data and free tech support for those struggling with digital exclusion, either because of cost as a barrier to internet access or increased social isolation as a result of COVID-19 crisis. This project is further supported by digital inclusion charities Good Things Foundation and AbilityNet. While the first will provide tech advice on assistive technologies and accessibility assessments for individuals with multiple and/or profound disabilities, the latter will provide support and guidance for the local organisations to help them distribute the devices safely and securely. ‘The pandemic has been incredibly tough for disabled people who have struggled to get online for basic things like catching up with loved ones. The Digital Lifeline fund will tackle this divide head on by putting thousands of devices in the hands of those who need them most, with free data and tech support on standby to help people with learning disabilities,’ Digital Minister Caroline Dinenage.