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DadaFest in drive to get disabled on the net

More than eight million people still offline

Published on January 7th 2013.


DadaFest in drive to get disabled on the net

EIGHT million people in the UK have never used the internet, which must be infuriating when stories about leaked emails and some tax dodgers called Amazon dominate the news. 

More seriously, the people who could really use it have been left out in the cold: at least half of those eight million offline are disabled. 

Now Liverpool disability arts organisation DaDafest has joined a national campaign to help disabled people overcome the challenges of using the web.

Champions

Ruth Gould of DaDaFestRuth Gould of DaDaFestDaDaFest, which organises the city's biennial festival promoting disability and deaf arts and an ongoing programme promoting disabled artistic talent, has become a partner of Go ON Gold, a project designed to help disabled people participate fully in an increasingly digital society.

Go ON Gold says it hopes other arts organisations will follow their lead by joining the campaign to capitalise on the new awareness and understanding of equality issues generated by the success of the Paralympics. 

They are looking for people and organisations to become digital champions, or do a contra-deal in promoting each other's work.

DaDaFest CEO Ruth Gould said: “Most people are well aware of the physical challenges faced by disabled people, such as lack of wheelchair access and ramps for example  – but the less tangible barriers, like having difficulty using keyboards or reading text, is less obvious for those not affected by it.”

Go ON Gold is funded by social investor Nominet and says it intends to sign up 1,000 new digital champions over the next 12 months in the use of accessible technology, as well as more than 100 digital partners – organisations who want to help improve their own accessibility awareness in order to help others. 

How do you get involved? You go to the Go ON Gold website. Of course. 

Kaliya FranklinVeteran disability rights
blogger Kaliya Franklin
Meanwhile, 43 per cent of all disabled people are not online. Of those who are, Hoylake's Kaliya Franklyn is an example of those who continue to use the internet as a devestating tool to highlight the lot of the marginalised. 

Here's the latest from her massively popular blog, Benefit Scrounging Scum. Come the day that the disabled do get a mass voice, it could all get very interesting.

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