Today we published the Government Approach to Assisted Digital as part of the Government Digital Strategy. Assisted Digital provision is the help and support we will provide so people who can’t use digital services independently can access digital by default services.
Although we co-ordinated publication, the document was developed collaboratively with Digital Leaders, departmental assisted digital leads, and with organisations working with people who are not online.
Making the strategy accessible
One thing we are very conscious of is that we need to ensure that the 18% of UK adults who are offline, and people who are online but have limited digital skills, can actually access the Government Digital Strategy and Government Approach to Assisted Digital.
We expect that most users will access the publications digitally. The primary audience is people working in government and people working in organisations with an interest in government policy. Generally these people are online – at work if not at home – and can access the information digitally.
If they would like a paper copy, then they can download the pdfs and print them off. Just as we do with GOV.UK, we have made the site as accessible as possible. It has been tested in screen readers and screen magnifiers.
Spreading the word
But we are aware that for some people who are offline or for those people who have limited digital skills, partnerships and intermediaries are central to the promotion and delivery of the assisted digital strategy.
So we are publicising the document using posters in front line public sector offices, and in organisations where the staff are offline. We found that this worked well with the launch of GOV.UK so we’re doing it again. Thank you to those who helped make this happen.
The posters display a couple of lines of information about the documents, the web address and details on how to request a paper copy by email, phone or post.
We’ve deliberately mixed online and offline options because assisted digital is about having appropriate help and support as well as a digital service, not providing separate channels for people who are offline.
It might seem illogical to have an email address for assisted digital users, but the people who need assisted digital often have a mix of abilities and can do some things online but not others.
We’re keen to find out how many copies of the documents are requested through the assisted digital routes.