As part of Surrey Choices’ Digital Inclusion Strategy, we have been finding out what the barriers are to IT for the people we support and the people they share their homes with. We have been working to overcome those barriers by our input and signposting to other support long-term and prioritising those people who live at home alone or with their families to reduce isolation.
Over the last few weeks Surrey Choices has been visiting Clare to get her online. Clare is deaf so it is very important that she can reconnect with her family and friends virtually whilst keeping safe at home.
Last week Clare was given a tablet and from there she was taught how to use it and how to access Zoom. The first virtual call she had was with her best friend, someone who she has not seen since February. This was an experiment to see how well she could understand lip reading and signing through a screen.
Reconnecting with Friends
The Zoom experiment could not have gone better, Clare chatted, laughed and got excited for over 30 minutes. She could lip read and see her friend signing with ease.
This is a huge achievement and a massive step forward in helping her to connect and feel less lonely whilst at home.
Over the next few weeks Clare will be supported to turn on the tablet by herself and access Zoom independently. Her family are very keen to learn how so that they have another means of connecting and communicating with her.
This story has many positive outcomes to it. Health and wellbeing, independence, life skills and communication with friends have all improved since the arrival of the tablet.
To support someone to not feel alone is one of the most important things to do during this global pandemic.
Well done to everyone involved!