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Embracing change at 82

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One Month, one achievement shared

In the heart of Salford's digital inclusion journey, we recently encountered a remarkable story of resilience and adaptation. In January, Andy Higgins the deaf community officer from Salford d/Deaf Community Gathering visited an 82-year-old Deaf BSL user who, for over three decades, relied on a trusty fax machine as her gateway to the world.

Sadly, the faithful fax, a companion for 23 years, bid farewell, finding its rest in WEEE regulated peace. Resolute in her ways, this lady avoided mobile phones, cherishing the tranquillity they threatened.

Transitioning her from thermal paper-laden faxes to an iPad was no mean task!

During Andy's visit, they discussed life, worldly topics, and the unique experiences of the Deaf community. Andy introduced an iPad and suggested exploring its touchscreen capabilities. To his surprise, the lady responded, "Do you think I'm mad like you? My fax has buttons, not like this iPad. You're crazy!"

Undeterred, they navigated the various video relay apps Sign Live (for the GP) 999 BSL Emergency Services and even a test video call.

With her hearing son present she has three children (One in Australia) and five grandchildren, they initiated a video call to him, and the magic unfolded. They also messaged her granddaughter which brought sheer astonishment as she witnessed the three bouncing dots of a reply on Messenger.

The play session lasted a fabulous four hours and plans for more are in the pipeline. The impact was beautifully encapsulated in a heartfelt message from her son later that night: “Just got all emotional then Andy, mum just video called me”.

Here's where the plot thickens: the iPads facilitating this transformation were generously donated by egis-group a compassionate Salford business. They recognised the need for digital inclusion among disabled residents and approached Salford Council, aligning their mission with social values.

Andy shared his joy with Salford’s Digital Inclusion team, “This is the difference you’ve made and I thank you for the that! Just think of still communicating only with a FAX machine!

Are you a local business that would like to help fix the digital divide?

Are you a local business that would like to pledge your support as egis-group did? If so please visit our website for more details as to how you can help fix the digital divide in Salford Empowering people through digital inclusion

Salford’s Digital Inclusion team would like to thank egis-group for their kind donation and share the impact this has had.

Are you a resident that would like support?

If you are a Salford resident that would like help to get online please contact us via Digital Everyone - Contact Us or call our Spirit of Salford Helpline 0800 952 1000 or you can visit our Gateways

Stay tuned for more Digital Wins as we celebrate one achievement each month!

About the author

Digital Everyone

The Digital Everyone project is part of Salford’s aim to become a Digital City, an ambition which forms part of our wider vision for a better, fairer Salford to improve resident’s lives.

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