Digital Lifeline

Digital Lifeline is an emergency response project getting devices, data and digital skills support to digitally excluded people with learning disabilities in England. It is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and delivered by Good Things Foundation.

Good Things Foundation is working in partnership with AbilityNet and is supported by Learning Disability England, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group and other disability and digital inclusion organisations. Hundreds of community partners are distributing the devices and data and providing support to help recipients learn how to use their device safely and confidently

Recent ONS data has shown that people with learning disabilities were particularly affected in some life areas:

  • 38.1% of people with a learning disability said ‘my health is being affected’ compared to 11.6% of the general population (6.8% non-disabled people).
  • 74.6% of people with a learning disability reported that ‘my wellbeing is being affected’ compared to 43.4% of the general population (37.1% non-disabled people).

Studies have also shown that accessing technology can help people with learning disabilities stay connected during lockdown, reducing loneliness and supporting their mental health and wellbeing.

The fund is ensuring more disabled people have access to technology and support with digital skills to help boost confidence using digital, reduce loneliness, support health and wellbeing and help mitigate the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19.


AbilityNet will support the delivery of Digital Lifeline via a range of accessibility and tech support services, including needs assessments for learners/beneficiaries, tech support for you or your beneficiaries and holding training sessions for your team.

There's more information in the documents below but to access AbilityNet support at any point during the project call the free helpline on 0800 048 7642 quoting ‘Digital Lifeline’, or request support via their web form.

Project resources

Project overview: