The first thing that many supporters told me they did when the first lock-down happened was to contact all the people with learning disabilities that they supported in order to find out what technology they had access to. for those they managed to contact and stay in contact with during lock-down smart phones and tablets were most commonly reported devices. there were however several barriers that needed to be overcome in order to ensure these devices could be used easily and effectively
1 For smart phones, there were often problems in that contact the person with a learning disability had with the network provider did not have enough data to enable them to engage in 'data-expensive' activities such as whats app or zoom calls
2 For tablets (and laptops) there were often problems with remembering login password,particular where the person with a learning disability was in supported living or a care home someone had set up the tablet for them and then not recorded or stored the passwords.
3 For those people with learning disability that lived in care homes and supported living there were often problems with lack of access to wi-fi. Either the managers of the home would refuse to give the person with a learning disability (or their supporter) the code to the staff wi-fi that person with a learning disability was paying for did not extend to the bedrooms, so that there was no private place the person with a learning disability could go to hold those all important but private online conversations with friends and family for those that lived in care homes and supported living there also problems with a lack of staff who were either unavailable, unwilling or lacked the skills to say with the person with learning disability whist they using their technology (e.g making a zoom call) in order to help with logins and trouble-shoot if things did not quite work as