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How the internet still fails disabled people

Jul 2nd, 2015 by

The web can be liberating for disabled adults – but a lack of training, accessibility and funding means the online world is a step too far for many

Elaine suffers from depression and anxiety. A psychiatric nurse suggested that she learn how to use a computer to keep in contact with her family so that she didn’t feel so isolated. So Elaine decided to attend one-to-one tutorials at Cambridge Online. “I’m in my 50s. We didn’t have computers when I was at school, so it was quite a job to teach me. I didn’t even know how to use a keyboard and was afraid if I hit a wrong button, I would break it.”

Since then she has learned how to type, use a search engine, send emails, save photos and make birthday cards by following the Tinder Foundation’s Learn My Way courses. “My family lives in Scotland, but because of the computer I was able to see my nephew’s fourth birthday pictures the next day. It’s opened up a whole new life for me. If I go online I can lose myself for quite a while and it stops my mind wandering and thinking about myself.”

The ONS found that 27% of disabled adults had never used the internet, compared to 11% of non-disabled adults

Related: Online dating is hard enough. Try doing it with a disability | Timothy Sykes

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