TEAC Conference Report Dec. 2015 - Page 8

on r ICT fo lusi c n i l socia Workshop on vulnerable groups at risk of exclusion Moderated by Ivan Stojilovic and Gordana Stankov Stojilovic (IAN, Serbia) Speakers: Christy McAleese (Citizens Advice, UK) and Jean Deydier (Emmaus Connnect, France) Theme: ICT for Social Inclusion Conclusions and recommendations: 8 • Barriers to digital inclusion are numerous and often complex. However they must not be simplified as being mainly about access or hardware. Attitudes, low engagement and skill levels are also responsible for digital exclusion situations. • It is key to start with the concrete need of people who come to telecentres and citizens organisations looking for digital skills. Whether it is advice, the need to communicate with a relative, fill out forms or find information: the concrete need is usually the starting point for learning. • For an organisation to grow, be sustainable and have good services, it is important that the government knows about its existence and value. Organisations need to show therefore that their services are effective (e.g. through a cost benefit analysis). Their impact also needs to be communicated. • It is good for NGOs and telecentres to partner with other organisations, e.g. with juvenile justice institutions to reach towards the vulnerable. Often the staff and e-facilitators from digital inclusion What did people say on Twitter? providers are welcome in the institutional setting, as they are not seen as being part of the institution. • When an innovative approach is introduced, there may be resistance in the beginning. The only way to deal with this is to make sure to measure and show the results early on. • There is a new challenge for telecentres, with the fact that some countries are providing exclusively all their services online (e.g. Denmark) and this can lead to exclusion of many citizens who are not prepared to follow the quick trend. Also, our organisations can provide feedback on these services to the government as telecentres can see first-hand the user experience of e-services. • Most services in telecentres are only provided in the mainstream language of the country. This may lead to the exclusion of possible beneficiaries such as migrants or refugees who don’t yet speak the language but need to acquire digital skills as well. • Digital inclusion providers need to be well trained in terms of flexibility and a full understanding of the issues that affect vulnerable groups. • The digital gap between seniors and young people is large and this is consistent across all EU countries. Telecentres need to continue focusing their efforts on this specific group. and telecentres should consider the possibility.