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Why can’t you access stuff on the web?

Since starting this blog about eighteen months ago I’ve mentioned many reports and studies that advocate digital participation, digital inclusion, digital literacy, digital by default, digital future and so on. Despite these official and authoritative arguments for better access to the web in the workplace, the workforce remains are blocked from using the most basic of web services, Doodle meeting scheduler for example. So, we at IRISS created this webpage containing key quotations from these reports which you can use to support your case for better access to the web.

We also asked for stories about blocked access and this one, from a local authority communications officer (yes, communications!), makes depressing reading

Getting information out to the many hundreds of staff across my department is difficult as a lot of web content is blocked. There are regular complaints made about the lack of communication between staff at headquarters and staff at remote sites, but despite this, information continues to be sent via ‘traditional’ methods (i.e newsletters in the post, filtered down through senior management). As the ICT policy for the local authority is managed at corporate level, departmental staff feel helpless to take any action against a policy that is so centrally engrained in the process of ‘how we do things’. 

I would love to work towards changing this, but am unsure of how to start without seeming to be causing problems or complaining.

This is not the first time we’ve heard people express concern about being seen as troublemakers. So where do we start?  People ‘at the top’ will have to take a lead.  ICT professionals, as mentioned a previous post, have been urged by Socitm – the Society of Information Technology Management – to ‘get into the digital vanguard’ by positioning themselves as leaders in promoting digital services.  Making people feel like troublemakers for trying be more efficient by using modern communication methods does not sit well with being in the vanguard.

Maybe a better dialogue between ICT professionals and front line professionals about what digital services and digital participation actually means in practice would help.