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Headstar leads "Go ON Gold" - access to technology by disabled people

Publishing news published: Monday 15th October 2012

Headstar leads

Headstar is leading a major national campaign to raise awareness about the barriers faced by people with disabilities in accessing the internet and other digital technologies, and help overcome them.

From the internet to smartphones and digital TV, new technology can be liberating for disabled people but can also turn into another way of excluding them from work, entertainment, shopping and other everyday activities. But shockingly, some four million disabled people in the UK have still never used the internet, either because of design barriers or because they may be unaware of advances in technology that can make access easier.

Go ON Gold aims to encourage businesses, organisations and policy makers to become more aware of the needs of disabled people - including their own staff and customers - and of the benefits to the economy of enabling everyone to be online.

As part of its awareness-raising work, the campaign is filming a series of videos of campaigners and technology users which can be viewed on the campaign website and embedded in other sites to help spread the word.

One of the video subjects is Paralympian peer and disability rights campaigner Tanni Grey-Thompson. The sixteen-times medal winner is a firm believer in the enabling power of IT: "For people whose mobility is compromised or who lack the resources to be able to get out and about as much as they would like, full Internet access can be hugely liberating.  In front of the screen, we can all be equal and Go ON Gold is set to make this a reality."

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, the social investor that has funded and supported the Go On Gold campaign, said:  "The internet is the single most powerful social tool that we have ever had and the benefits it offers should be experienced by all members of society. Finding information, networking with friends, getting and giving support, and sharing experiences are all now easier if you are online.  But we need to do more to make the internet accessible for all.

"Nominet Trust is committed to ensuring that everyone has the access and skills required to experience the benefits of the internet.  Digital technology has the potential to make a significant impact on many areas of disabled life, which is why we are supporting Go ON Gold in this important work."

Go ON Gold is a partner campaign of Go ON UK, the new national digital inclusion charity chaired by UK digital champion Martha Lane Fox and backed by the BBC, Age UK, the Post Office, TalkTalk, Lloyds Banking Group, the Big Lottery Fund and Eon.

The Go ON Gold website will act as a central focus for links to key resources and expertise, ranging from charities providing free or subsidised equipment, to centres offering one-to-one advice, and guidance for website developers to ensure the accessibility of the digital content they produce.

Watch the video: Tanni Grey-Thompson talk to Go ON Gold

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