Digital Access for All

The Learning Foundation originally launched Digital Access for All in 2018 to ensure there was focus on the fact that large numbers of children and families had very limited or no access to a device and/or connectivity at home

Digital Access For All

In 2019 – The Learning Foundation launched Digital Access for All to support the aim to even-up the digital playing field.

Developed by the Learning Foundation and Nominet, with support from Lord Knight and Baroness Harding. Early initiating partners included Intel, Lloyds Bank, Microsoft, BT, Carnegie UK Trust, Computer Recyclers, Dell and the Good Things Foundation. In addition we have had outstanding programmatic support from Cap Gemini and many individuals such as Tristan Wilkinson.

In 2021 DAFA now continues its focus on device access particularly and does this both through its links with the Learning Foundation and through the Digital Poverty Alliance

Digital Access For All recognises the excellent work being carried out across the UK in the area of digital skills and the inclusion agenda, however, we believe that the issue of access is critical at a time when there are still upwards of one million children and young people and their families who don’t have adequate access to a device or connectivity at home.

Lord Knight

As a leading digital nation, the UK needs to ensure that all of its citizens are able to engage, participate and benefit from everything that being online can offer. With Digital Access For All our goal is to test and shape a number of pilot initiatives to provide tangible solutions that ensure that all young people have the opportunity to reach their potential in a society that is now digital by default.

Eleanor Bradley, COO, Nominet

About DAFA

During 2019, the Digital Access For All (DAFA) Taskforce focussed its time on research and development. We found there was very limited information about what access was like for anyone in the UK with some major research definitions being as simple as “Have you accessed the internet at any time in the last 3 months”.  This hid the reality and we knew we had to better understand the issue before we could help respond to it.

Working with a number of  ‘pilot’ families we looked at a variety of propositions to provide scalable solutions. We did this and continue to do this so that we can provide advice and access to the two million+ families in the UK currently excluded or underserved supported digitally.

Core information from Ofcom and others point towards:

  • 10m people lack the most basic digital skills.
  • 6% or 1.5m UK households have no internet access.
  • 2m UK households struggle to afford internet access with 800,000 in the red.
  • 14.9m people have very low levels of digital engagement.
  • 8.7m employed people (16% of the total adult population) have the Essential Digital Skill for Life but lack the Essential Digital Skill for Work.
  • 67% would improve their digital skills if they knew support was available

Reasons people gave for not being online  – 37% say they don’t have the right equipment; 36% say it is too expensive; 42% say they are not interested; 46% say it is too complicated

(SOURCES – Lloyds Bank CDI and Digital Skills Benchmark 2021; Ofcom – various 2021; Citizens Advice – 2021)

Finally – we know that access to a device and connectivity where and when you need it is no longer a nice-to-have but absolutely essential – at almost every age. As matters as diverse as claiming benefit, looking for work, learning, training and shopping all become easier and better to access online – all those families that are not well connected (and arguably those that stand to gain the most from being connected) will fall further behind.

What we’re doing right now

We have two current focuses:

  1. Providing devices, connectivity and other related items to schools and to their pupils to access at home
  2. Providing a conduit through which corporate and small business donors with devices and other IT to offer can link effectively with those that need it

If you have a device or more to offer or are a school in need please complete the relevant form at the bottom of this page:


How to become a beneficiary

If you are a school or other organisation working with school-aged children (5-18) and those transitioning to work from education (16-24), we would like to understand more about how DAFA can help you help. Please complete the form below and we will do our utmost to identify and supply the equipment you need.  This will be refurbished in the main and high quality.

Want to donate redundant equipment?

The ADISA DAFA program enables corporate and government organisations, both large and small, to donate any redundant or spare infrastructure which can then be resold or recycled with the devices and revenue being used to fund the DAFA programme. To find out more please complete the form below.

To find out more about Digital Access For All and about how The ADISA Marketplace is helping please follow the below link to watch our podcast with Steve Mellings from ADISA and Paul Finnis from The Learning Foundation.

Get Involved

More research is required to look again at need as the UK recognises that it is not just about having access at home but about the quality of that access – how many people are sharing how many devices, how much data does the family have to share in a month – not just in the short term but in the long term too. Every school-aged child should have access, at home, to a device and connectivity whenever they need it.

There needs to be a much more strategic long-term and multi-level response to the subject of digital poverty and inclusion. Something that DAFA has led on with families and individual school children since our launch in the Spring of 2019.

In early 2021 we announced the formation of the Digital Poverty Alliance.
We would value support and ideas and input from anyone with thoughts to share.

Join the community: 

Join the community

Contributions will vary as appropriate – from gifts-in-kind such as particular capabilities or deliverables that you might bring such as research or marketing project and financial support.

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