Knowsley Older People's Voice

Digitally Excluded?

The internet and other digital technology undoubtedly brings a range of benefits to modern day living. This is particularly so in the case of our social activities (mobile phones, check facebook and twitter for example), and therefore individuals can choose whether they want to use it or not.

Capture 2However, the internet is increasingly used for the purchase of goods and services, and the reduction in background costs that this brings for online retailers means that there are often real savings to be made for those who are able to buy online. It is therefore quite common that the best deals on anything from clothing to energy supplies are only available to those who have access to the internet. Those who do not can be said to be digitally excluded. Older people are far more likely to be among those who are digitally excluded than other age groups.

In addition to this, there is a worrying development with the Government announcing in November 2010 that it would pursue a policy of ‘digital by default’ so that public services would primarily be ‘delivered online or by other digital means’, in order to drive better services and lower costs. This means that essential government processes (such as the revised benefit system) will be designed first and foremost for online access, with the potential for real difficulties in accessing these government functions for those who are digitally excluded.

Age UK has produced a number of documents relating to these developments, some of which are available below.

Digital Inclusion and Older People (pdf)

Digital Inclusion Review (pdf)

 

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KOPV is a formally constituted body & has a Steering group of 12 elected members responsible for planning & delivering the work of KOPV on behalf of its members