27 Jan 2016

Innovative project to help disabled people get online launched by the Leeds Library Service

A new scheme helping disabled people access the internet for the first time has been launched by the Leeds Library Service.

As part of the Connect-Ability project disabled people will have the chance to discover the delights of the internet through specialist training by trained staff on an iPad at home or in a range of locations across the city.

To ensure the best possible support is provided, librarians will be offering special iPad tutorial sessions to members of staff, volunteers and representatives of disabled organisations so they too will be able to carry out the training in venues such as libraries and day centres to their respective service users.

It is estimated that there are 3.3 million disabled adults in the UK who have never used the internet, and it is hoped that through this innovative project funded by the Tinder Foundation, the digital divide in Leeds will be further reduced and more people with disabilities across the city can improve their skills and thrive online.

To find out more about the Connect-Ability scheme, and how to get involved in Leeds, please ring 0113 247 6016 or email: enquiry.express@leeds.gov.uk

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities said:

“We are delighted to be offering disabled people who have yet to be on the internet the opportunity through our Connect-Ability project to learn how easy it to go online and enjoy what is on offer either at home or at many venues across the city.

"Leeds Libraries have an outstanding track record of supporting digital inclusion with free internet access, free Wi-Fi and digital learning sessions. Through the Connect-Ability project we will be able to help reduce the digital divide further, which has meant that far too many disabled people are still missing out on the benefits of being online.”

‚ÄčNotes to editors:

Funding for the project is provided from the Tinder Foundation's digital inclusion fund, which is supporting schemes in 16 libraries across the UK, including Leeds.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Contact information

Leeds City Council Communications team