August 5, 2022

Where would we be without the internet?

Freedom of speech and access to information, awareness-raising, being part of political life, and accessibility are all articles within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Because so much of that information and connection happens online it stands to reason that digital connection is a key to people with intellectual disabilities living lives just like everyone else.Strong Voices Spring 22 cover

A recent Digital Skills Report from BNZ estimated that 20 percent of New Zealand adults do not have the digital skills deemed essential for modern life, and that rises to 30 percent for people with low education or low incomes and 42 percent for those living with a disability.

Over the past two years – with us being more isolated and locked away with COVID – that connection and access have been even more important.

Thanks to donations and support from members of the public during the lockdowns we were able to provide people with devices to keep them connected with family and friends and to keep up to date with information and entertainment. Those devices were sent to people living in IHC’s IDEA Services homes as well as people living alone, with family or flatting. We also connected houses with Netflix.

Just before Christmas we tested some online art and music sessions called ‘Let’s Give it a Go’. These were popular and they got us thinking. So later this year we are going to launch a new IHC media platform with content for and by people with intellectual disabilities. We will have more of the online sessions and we are gathering information about the kind of sessions you would like to see; you can expect tips on how to use a phone or tablet as part of it. We are also hoping to provide links to some useful information and learning modules and we will be looking for some stars to create and present some content.

We’ll keep you posted.

Gina Rogers