Tanni Grey-Thompson backs new national online campaign
Paralympian peer and disability rights campaigner Tanni Grey-Thompson is urging people to get involved with Go ON Gold, a new national initiative which aims to raise awareness of the obstacles faced by people with disabilities in accessing computers and the internet – and help remedy them.
Among her wide-ranging responsibilities in this Paralympic Year, Baroness Grey-Thompson has found time to back our campaign to help the UK’s four million disabled people who have never used the internet, either because of design barriers or because they may be unaware of advances in technology that can make access easier.
The sixteen-times medal winner, who stars in a video on the Go ON Gold website, 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.”
Go ON Gold intends to sign up 1,000 new digital champions over the next 12 months in the use of accessible technology. It will also 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 on line.
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.
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.