Blog based on interview with Lisa Kerr
How are people meant to use online services if they are older, have a disability or don’t have access to the internet?
I understand and can express myself well if I get the chance. I have visual impairments, learning difficulties and dyslexia. You need to take all these in to account if you want me to use your service.
Society has gone a wee bit robotic because everything is online. My GP has a new online system for booking appointments. City Link won’t allow you to do a phone booking anymore. I can only book exercise classes online. During the pandemic organisations had to talk to people online. Quite a few people didn’t like using technology, so they lost the support. Seeing my doctor, travelling and staying healthy is a lot harder for me than it used to be.
My GP surgery has let me phone in to book after a lot of persuasion. I now know how to book exercise classes but setting up was tricky. It was far easier for me when I could phone – before online took over. Some companies, like my taxi company, still offer the phone if people don’t have a computer.
A lot of other people can’t use computers. Older people are not always good with online. People with physical disability or learning difficulties can’t use a mouse or keyboard. Generations of people aren’t going to know how to use a mouse or a keyboard soon. Some people with disability get support from parents but not everyone does.
Online is great for some people sometime. But to interact with everyone services and businesses must offer the option of a phone line, hard copy print and face to face communications as well.