Skip to main content
Older couple

The hard to reach are at risking of becoming ‘the hardly reached'

Technology is developing at a rapid pace of change, which means that the modern landscape in which we’re operating is also continually changing. Geographic and demographic factors impact the speed at which public services can be delivered digitally. This becomes critical when you think about vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, such as older people, those with disabilities and the unemployed.

The State of the Digital Nation report reveals that two fifths of organisations cite lack of citizen online access and half cite an unwillingness to use online services as barriers to using online government services.

The report also draws on ONS data, which found that a quarter of disabled adults in the UK had never used the internet. It also quotes a survey by the BBC, which found that almost three quarters of people who lack basic digital skills are over 55.

In Socitm’s 2016/2017 Better Connected survey of council websites, Kent County Council managed to achieve full marks of four stars for the fourth consecutive year. The council passed all aspects of the testing, including both accessibility tests indicating that their site is user-friendly for those with disabilities. However, only 134 of the 416 council websites in the UK passed the stage two accessibility test, showing that many councils still have work to do.

How do you ensure people have the access and digital literacy to fully benefit from digital services? And when it becomes crucial to the success of your transformation programme, how do you adopt an approach that focuses on developing access, skills and confidence, and motivation and trust?

Download The State of the Digital Nation report to find out how you can deliver services that are simpler to use and more accessible for your citizens.