Bridging the digital divide for young people with intellectual disabilities

Everyone needs to feel safe and confident in the digital world.

Good Things Foundation is delivering a pilot digital inclusion project in partnership with Down Syndrome Australia.

From June 2021 to July 2022, we are partnering with Down Syndrome Australia on a pilot project to support young people with intellectual disability and their parents or carers to improve their digital skills.

Currently, over 25% of people aged 15-64 with disability do not use the internet (ABS, 2018). This sees people with disability excluded from participating in everyday online activities that lead to social and economic independence.

People with disabilities report a lack of confidence and skills as reasons for not accessing the internet, as well as issues with affordability and access (ADII, 2020). This research also shows that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people with disabilities, who are less likely to have access to online services to maintain health and wellbeing, access information and reduce isolation and loneliness.

We are working together with our networks of community partners, young people with intellectual disabilities, their parents or carers, and our expert Advisory Group in this project. We are developing new resources, training digital mentors and supporting young people to improve their digital skills and confidence.

We will also raise awareness about how people with intellectual disability can be supported to increase their digital literacy and inclusion in the online world.

We believe that supporting young people with intellectual disability and their support networks to learn essential digital literacy skills is critical to ensure everyone is able to safely and confidently access online services and support in the way they choose.

This pilot project is made possible due to the funding support of the Department of Social Services.