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10 ways we’re championing digital inclusion in social care at Innovate Trust

insight into wales

From digital devices, assistive smart home technology and digital inclusion projects, we have never had a better opportunity than today to make technological developments accessible and available to all.  

Living through the pandemic made us realise that, at some point, we will need to engage with some form of technology in our daily lives. We see it all around us. Even by using a self-service checkout at the supermarket or getting medical advice via an online app or website.

Of course, not everyone can access technology. Some people choose not to use technology. There must be accessible alternatives.

Today’s technology offers a world of opportunity. We have only just started discovering the potential it can unlock for supporting and enhancing the lives of adults with disabilities.

The impact of Covid – 19

Many of us have never experienced a time like the last few years. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the world as we know it turned into something unimaginable. During this, life became something we have only seen in films and read in books.

The pandemic brought on change and developments in ways that would have otherwise taken many years to achieve. Those changes have benefited many people. It has also left many needing additional support or, in some cases, becoming excluded digitally.

two people watching a video about insight on a tablet device

10 ways we have been championing digital inclusion at Innovate Trust:

a hall full of people sat down looking at a big screen playing a video about our app, Insight
  1. We developed an award-winning free-to-use community app for adults with disabilities and organisations across the UK called Insight
  2. We partnered with two local authorities (Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Council) to pilot an initiative to develop a digital assessment tool (DAT) and support adults with disabilities to be digitally included during and post-pandemic.
  3.  In February 2022, we became Wales’s first supported living provider to achieve the Digital Communities Wales – Digital Inclusion Charter Accreditation.

4. We worked with Nesta and Y Lab through the “Innovate to Save Scheme” to research and develop a pilot bringing smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, into supported living homes to enhance support and provide greater levels of independence for adults with a disability.

5. We worked closely with Cardiff University’s Psychology department to research the project, ‘Smart-speaker technology and intellectual disabilities: agency and wellbeing’ and the impacts of technology on the wellbeing of adults with a disability.

6. In partnership with First Choice Housing Association, we developed the first supported living house in the UK. As such, this has enabled people to use mainstream smart technologies and internet of things (IoT) in everyday devices. This work has provided greater independence and wellbeing opportunities within the supported living home. 

7. We have created our own Smart House demonstration property in Cardiff, which has provided over 500 visits to professionals, members of the public and politicians. The property successfully showcases the possibilities of mainstream technologies in promoting independence.

8. We worked with the support of Digital Communities Wales to provide Digital Essential Skills training to colleagues and the people we support at Innovate Trust. 

9. We supported the Vale of Glamorgan Council to develop the first supported living ‘Smart House’, specifically for the Transitions age group.

10. We supported First Choice Housing Association during the pandemic by planning, installing, and configuring Smart technology into their ‘Net Zero / Flexi Home’ property in Wrexham, North Wales. This work is piloting a new form of Net Zero social housing.

We have a passionate Digital Inclusion team at Innovate Trust. Our team continues to work with other organisations to share ideas and collaborate to promote digital inclusion across Wales. 

Plans for 2023

2022 was an exciting year for us at Innovate Trust. But we’re not done yet.

In 2023 we will continue to develop the Insight app with the help of our Insight Investigators. We are excited at its potential and how far-reaching it is becoming. And how far it can go. We will also continue working with partners to deliver digital inclusion projects. At Innovate Trust, we work on making sure that as many people as possible can get involved.

Please contact us if you are interested in working with us or have a project you would like to discuss.

insight, developed by Innovate Trust

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