The talk will first summarise the barriers and facilitators and then discuss how to achieve Digital Participation for All.
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The knowledge and the means to close the digital divide exists and have existed for a long time. Ownership of, and responsibility for, the issues have yet to be addressed.
This talk presents a framework for implementation based on evidence from research and practice which will address key issues including:
- Policies and practices to promote inclusion
- Funding of Universal Access
- Designing to promote digital participation
- Changing mindsets
- Ceasing wide-spread practices we KNOW are deterrents to digital participation
- Ensure all provision and “interventions” are informed by knowledge of the digital exclusion phenomenon and the real needs of the excluded or marginalised.
BCS Digital Divide SG is committed to the pursuit of actions and implementations of this proposed framework in a joined up way.
About the speaker
Professor Emerita Leela Damodaran
Leela Damodaran, FAcSS, MIoD, is Professor Emerita of Digital Inclusion and Participation at Loughborough University. She specialises in the behavioural aspects and human use of information and communications technologies (ICTs), planning of change and transition, strategies for social and digital inclusion, citizen engagement and participation.
She has worked on and led a wide range of programmes and projects variously in research, consulting, or advisory roles. This has included the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme ‘Sus-IT’ project to develop understanding of the use of digital technologies by older people and solutions to promote their digital participation and the EPSRC funded KT-Equal consortium established specifically to exploit a decade of investment in ageing and disability research.
She was commissioned by DCMS in 2018 to develop the Digital Engagement ‘What Works’ Toolkit. This was completed in 2020 and originally scheduled for its official release in this year. Due to the Pandemic and subsequent financial constraints, publication has yet to happen.
As well as engaging in academic research, Leela has collaborated with government departments, local government, ‘blue-chip’ companies, and other key stakeholder groups to inform policy, strategy and design decisions relating to design of ICT products, systems and services and to digitalisation. She was a member of the Ofcom Strategic Advisory Board (OSAB), a member of the Digital Inclusion Stakeholder Group of the Government Digital Strategy team and of the DWP-led Age Action Alliance Digital Inclusion Group. She is currently working in the following roles : Member of Leicestershire Equalities Challenge Group, Long Eaton 50+ forum, NHS ‘Digital Health Inequalities Steering Group, Ashbourne Pavilion Community Initiative (sub-group which advises and supports the Ashbourne Pavilion Development) and is an informal contributor to the Digital Inclusion Team in Greater Manchester. She is a founder member of the BCS ‘Closing the Digital Divide’ specialist group.
Leela has authored 7 books, a wide range of papers in academic journals and conference proceedings and numerous project reports
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