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New accessible versions of vital cyber security information released

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Lead Scotland has produced the information in a range of accessible formats

A guide which offers vital advice to help people stay safe online has been released in an array of accessible formats.

Lead Scotland has announced the release of 10 new accessible formats of its online security messages. The charity has been working with a range of partners to develop the new formats as well as with the people and supporters who need these formats.

The new alternative formats were chosen by practitioners and service users to promote cyber resilience advice to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, people with learning or cognitive difficulties, people whose first language isn’t English, those using adaptive digital technology and others who experience other accessibility barriers.

In both text and audio formats, the National Cyber Security Centre’s Six actions to online security messaging has been translated into six languages: Polish, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu and Romanian. The six actions have also been made into text formats: a structured text document (for use with assistive technology), HTML, braille, and large print. The remaining formats will be released over the course of this new project and include Easy Read, British Sign Language and English audio.

The alternative formats are free to access and share and can be found on the website. They will also be embedded into the Cyber Scotland website and into the Lead Scotland/Open University in Scotland online course Everyday computer skills: a beginner’s guide to computers, tablets, mobile phones and accessibility. This free course was developed last year for and by disabled people to learn key digital skills and cyber resilience.

As part of the project, Lead Scotland will be running free webinars for members of the public and organisations about online security and accessibility. They will also be running ‘training for trainers’ sessions to support organisations and practitioners to pass on information to their service users. Details about the webinars and training for trainers sessions will be released soon on the project website. People are encouraged to check back to the website, sign up for the newsletter or follow Lead Scotland on social media (Twitter, Facebook), to be notified when dates and times are advertised.

This project is supported by an advisory group which meets quarterly to ensure they are working in a joined-up way to close the gap around alternative formats and accessible messaging. Lead Scotland are supported by the Scottish Government's Cyber Resilience Unit, the National Cyber Security Centre, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and a range of individuals, groups and partners. Together with disabled people, they are advocating for accessible messaging to become standard practice.

Emma Whitelock, Lead Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be taking forward this important work, translating National Cyber Security Centre messages into a range of alternative formats. It is absolutely essential that everyone is informed about changes we can all make to stay safe online to reduce our risk from cyber attack”.

Caroline Lindsay, the coordinator supporting project, said: “I'm excited to get started with the Cyber Resilience Project. I'm looking forward to developing and delivering courses which will support people in Scotland safely use the internet.”

Lead Scotland is a national charity supporting disabled people and carers by providing personalised learning, befriending, advice and information services. Its helpline and information service is Scotland’s only national helpline for disabled people seeking guidance on accessing and staying in further and higher education.



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