Liverpool based disability arts organization, DaDaFest, has become the latest group to join a national campaign to help disabled people overcome the challenges of using the internet.
DaDaFest, which organises a 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 now hope 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.
Teaming up with Go ON Gold means DaDaFest, one of whose projects aims to increase attendance at artistic events among disabled and Deaf people, will actively help performers and audiences to access the internet and help them use online tools to improve their web experience.
Go ON Gold co-founder and chair of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) Group, Kevin Carey, said:
“More than half of the eight million UK citizens who have never used the internet are disabled. At a time when digital access plays an ever-increasing role in almost every aspect of our lives, these statistics are shocking and unacceptable. Our campaign highlights the help which is available, encourages others to help point non-users in the right direction and shows businesses and organisations how much society as a whole can gain by sharing such knowledge.”
DaDaFest CEO Ruth Gould added:
“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, such as having difficulty using keyboards or reading text, is less obvious for those not affected by it.
“As an organisation dedicated to showcasing the talents of disabled people it makes perfect sense for us to spread the message about other ways of increasing accessibility to all parts of modern life.”
The Go ON Gold website acts as focus for key resources and expertise to help people get online and also features a number of videos by high profile disabled people such as leading Paralympian peer and disability rights campaigner, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Go ON Gold is funded by social investor Nominet and 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.
It will also encourage businesses, organisations and policy-makers to become more aware of the needs of disabled people and of the benefits to the economy of enabling everyone to be online.
Supported by Go ON UK, a radical new partnership chaired by UK digital champion, Martha Lane-Fox, Go ON Gold is also backed by the BBC, Age UK, the Post Office, TalkTalk, Lloyds, the Big Lottery Fund and Eon.
To find out about Go ON Gold and become a Digital Champion and help a disabled person to get online, visit www.go-on-gold.co.uk. For more information on DaDaFest visit www.dadafest.co.uk.