Too many Scots still don't have access to digital technology
A national movement must be built that will lead a digital inclusion revolution, a major third sector meeting has been told.
An estimated 1.3 million people in Scotland are not engaging with new information technology and face finding themselves excluded from education and opportunities.
Attendees at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' (SCVO) Third Sector Summit heard that a major drive is underway to challenge digital exclusion.
SCVO is pioneering multi-pronged approach to tackling the problem.
The organisation's digital team is building a directory of everywhere in Scotland which provides face-to-face help in accessing the internet for people who are just starting out on their digital journey.
On top of this, funding has been found for 100 internships – for six weeks duration and each paid the living wage – to work with charities on their online and social media strategies.
SCVO is also running a series of events throughout the country – including at next year's Gathering – to better connect people involved in digital inclusion and it is urging charities and other organisations to sign up to a charter which is aimed at encouraging online engagement.
Chris Yiu, SCVO's director of digital participation, told attendees that attempting to engage as many of the missing 1.3 million as possible will help them engage with their communities. We can't sit back and do nothing, he said, highlighting that society wouldn't have the same attitude to reading and writing if there was a comparable lag.
The meeting also heard that many small charities are also falling behind and are missing out by, for example, not having donation functions on their websites.