Business Technology

How a US tech giant is changing lives in care services

Sam Turner, Digital Inclusion Manager, Community Integrated Care

Sam Turner, Digital Inclusion Manager at national social care charity, Community Integrated Care, talks about the impact of their digital inclusion partnership with technology experts, Okta.

Having the confidence and skillset to access the online world is no longer preferable but a necessity in modern life. Digital inclusion means better navigation of the world around us, opportunities to build skills and independence, and more ways of keeping connected to our friends and family.

Often our shift towards living more of our lives online is viewed negatively. Social media is seen as divisive, and many believe that too much screen time is eroding ‘real life’ relationships, but how many of us could actually live without the internet?

From looking up recipes to finding out what time the next train departs, online assistance is integral to our lifestyles. At Community Integrated Care, our central mission is to empower the people we support to live the best lives possible. We know that supporting people to develop their digital skills is a vital element of this.

Another organisation that understands this is Okta. A world leading online identity company, at the cutting edge of identification technology, Okta works with organisations across the world, such as Google and Microsoft, to provide people with secure online experiences.

Harnessing the power of digital tools

Last year, Community Integrated Care started working with Okta to help colleagues in the sector and people who access care and support enjoy greater access to the internet. The aim was to do this in three ways: develop people’s skills and confidence in going online, provide skills via online means that would improve people’s lives, and make incredible experiences accessible by way of the internet.

As Okta’s social care partners, Community Integrated Care worked with the tech firm to exchange specialist knowledge on accessibility and the importance of digital in the lives of people who access care and support. The benefits of the collaboration are two-fold – helping Okta develop products that improve everyone’s online experience and helping our charity ensure that independent, digitally enabled lives are part of the well-rounded care and support that we offer.

Working with our charity’s dedicated Partnerships and Communities team, Okta has supported us to develop training programmes and resources which have honed internet search skills among our frontline colleagues. Together, we’ve looked at how digital can alleviate some of the pain points in the care sector – from educating people on saving money to finding more opportunities in our communities, there aren’t many areas of life that cannot be improved by access to the right digital tools.

Embarking on a Big Adventure

One project, which has been part of this digital inclusion partnership, and has delivered huge impacts, is The Big Adventure. The Big Adventure followed on from a ‘choose your own adventure’ style training provision that we developed, which supports colleagues to use online search more effectively to find exciting opportunities for people we support, in their local communities and beyond.

This is an example of Okta’s support and influence leading to innovative solutions to insidious issues for the care sector. Being left behind in an increasingly digital world has numerous impacts which aren’t always immediately obvious. As well as social isolation, digital exclusion will decrease a person’s employment opportunities. It also limits access to healthcare, can have financial implications and may increase educational disparities. Effective search is a bedrock skill that can open up huge possibilities.

Creating life-changing experiences with ‘What To Do’

Okta have also supported us in developing What To Do – an online hub which provides meaningful experiences to people accessing care and support, across the country.

Over the course of our two-year strategic partnership with Okta, we’ve connected online audiences of people who access care and support with professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing, stars of The Great British Bake Off and a number of professional sports people and athletes.

It’s a privilege to see how lives are being changed thanks to our partnership with Okta. Improved digital skills are broadening the horizons of people we support and helping create a more inclusive digital landscape.

What is ‘What To Do’?

Community Integrated Care developed its online hub in the midst of the pandemic to alleviate isolation and provide meaningful experiences to people accessing care and support across the country. The website grew to be a thriving community which has delivered over 30,000 hours of activity for people. On participates can take a virtual tour London Transport Museum one week and meet England Lionesses top goal scorer the week after. Programmes are curated in response to the interests and feedback of audiences. Visit now to find out more and get involved.



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