During the early part of Covid-19, Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Libraries, Waterford Wexford Education Training Board, Waterford PPN, Waterford Area Partnership and the Waterford Older People’s Council, the HSE and the Disability Federation of Ireland worked together to find a solution in closing the digital divide in the community by training people in using their mobile phones, tablets and technology. Waterford PPN carried out surveys to identify support and training needs.
Two booklets have now been published online. The first produced by Richard Torney of the Older People’s Council is to help anyone who would like to know where the broadband connection points and free wifi points across the City and County area along with sites where training is available, with an accompanying map showing locations.
This live publication “Get Connected: WIFI Hotspots and other Services” is available on Waterford Libraries website and is regularly updated.
Richard Torney, Waterford OPC said, “we know that lots of people, older and younger, need help in using devices and online services. Those of us who have received training know that sometimes just understanding a simple tap of a button can make all the difference. I’d encourage everyone to look at the booklets and look for some help to make it easier to get online.”
The second booklet “A Beginners guide to staying digitally connected” was produced by Nicola McCarthy Hanlon of WWETB as part of the collaborative project. Nicola has been rolling out training across the county and this guide has proven to be invaluable during and after training and is available on Waterford Libraries website.
Nicola McCarthy Hanlon, WWETB said, “there are so many options here in Waterford for people to get help with accessing technology and we will be working to make sure that everyone who wants to get more information on using phones and devices will have that available to them.”
Jane Cantwell, City & County Librarian added, “the partnership between the different groups has helped us to work together to rollout out training and information to those who would love to know more about technology and who, in our current world need to know more about technology in order to use services and to access information.”
Source: Waterford City & County Council