How we can help ONSIDE The lockdown has taught us the importance of ‘connection’ Posted 22.07.2020 The ONSIDE project is a cross border project created to address the social isolation experienced by disabled people. ONSIDE’s aim is to create community connections for disabled people - both in their local community and online communities. However, the lockdown period has hampered our ability to create physical connections in the local community so our focus has been to get all participants online and engaging in online communities as quickly as possible. What the lockdown has taught us is the importance of ‘connection’ … connecting remotely with family and friends. Unfortunately, disabled people as a community have one of the lowest uptakes of digital engagement. This coupled with the COVID-19 closure of social outlets available to disabled people means many have been left further isolated over the last few months. This is why ONSIDE is determined to focus our efforts on equipping and upskilling participants to get online. The ONSIDE team continues to support participants throughout their ONSIDE journey. We are now focusing on providing support across all of the project via telephone, email and on-line software. We are now delivering digital training to participants via Zoom. Prior to training an ONSIDE team member delivers an android tablet and printed support materials. During training they also provide 1-2-1 support (support is determined by participants’ level of IT skills). Once participants are confident online, our Community Navigators will then map out tailored social connections e.g. online Further Education classes, yoga club, chat rooms, based on participants’ interests and needs. For more information telephone 028 9029 7880 or 00353 1873 0455 or email: [email protected]roject.org ONSIDE is a free, impartial and confidential service. ONSIDE is a cross border project funded by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.