Digital Inclusion helps get people connected online by loaning equipment and offering technical support
Age UK Wakefield District Digital Inclusion Service
Whether we like it or not, many services are now moving ‘online’ as this becomes the preferred way that people communicate and get the things they need. It is good for the providers of course, but the improvements in efficiency that the internet creates also drives down the prices they charge and speeds up the time it takes to receive your goods or services.
Being out of this loop creates many problems and these have become even more apparent, through the COVID pandemic. Many older people have become cut off from other people and because human beings need company, this results in real loneliness. Or they cannot access reliable information and if your only source is the media, then you could become very frightened and depressed. Or they simply feel out of control, unable to get their own shopping or manage their own finances.
It is easy to see that it can be miserable to be ‘excluded’ from the digital world. Our aim is to tackle this exclusion and make sure our clients enjoy all the benefits the internet can deliver.
How we can help
Every few months we run a tablet loan scheme to help people who have little or no experience of using digital technology to get started. The loaned tablet is delivered to a participant’s home by one of our Digital Champions, who will then run a relaxed introduction session, demonstrating and supporting each person according to their needs. Every participant will get a simple guide to keep and can then try different programmes and applications to do the things they want to do. This could be doing puzzles or playing a favourite game through to accessing their bank account or having a video consultation with their GP.
The tablet can be kept at home for three months, allowing participants the opportunity to become completely familiar with the equipment, the programmes and the internet. The tablet comes with a data-enabled sim card so everyone can use one straight away, without having to get any Wi-Fi installed.
We can then help people to purchase their own equipment, or if appropriate they can purchase the tablet at a reduced price.
Digital Telephone Support
During the loan period, participants also have access to our Digital Telephone Support Service, where they can ask any questions or get help if they are having a problem. This line can also be used by older people who want help with their own equipment.
To access either the Tablet Loan Scheme or the Digital Telephone Support Service just leave a message with our Single Point of Contact by calling 01977 552114 and someone will call you back.
What’s what in Digital? A bit of ‘Online’ language to get you started
Google is the most popular search engine on the internet and allows you to find websites and answers to questions. You can type in some relevant words and up pops a list of results for you browse at leisure. It’s even become a verb - to 'google' something means to look up information online.
Apps (applications)An App is a type of computer program that you can download for your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. There are hundreds of different apps available that do lots of different things, from playing games and puzzles, to allowing you to access your bank account. You download apps from the internet and many are free.
IconAn icon is an image or symbol on a screen that represents a function on your phone, tablet or computer. You usually 'tap' on an icon to open an app.
TabletA tablet is a handheld device with a touchscreen which can connect to the internet and be used as a portable computer.
Data Data is the flow of information from the internet to the device or device to the internet. It can be numbers, words, pictures, movies, or sounds and you buy a service, normally monthly, that allows this exchange to take place.