Age Action's award winning "Getting Started" programme is a learning and awareness raising programme for older people to encourage and help them to use computers and the internet. Our goal is to promote digital inclusion and positive aging by providing opportunities for all older people to learn about technology. All our tutors are trained volunteers and work one-to-one with older learners as each learner may require different levels of support, encouragement and have proven very successful.
Less than 25% of people aged 65 or over in Ireland use the internet and Age Action's Getting Started programme assists older people to overcome their fear of technology and learn basic IT skills. Digital literacy is now a necessity for accessing health and welfare information, for using online services as well as maintaining contact with family and friends.
Our learning programme was designed with the challenges and barriers experienced by older learners in mind such as older people's fear of technology or feeling they are too older to learn. We created a supportive learning environment that is relaxed, non-formal and sociable so they do not feel intimidated by technology. Training materials has been developed specifically for older people, with flexibility engrained and content tailored to suit the pace of each individual learner.
Confidence in using the internet tackles the social exclusion that many older people may feel, helping them to stay active, healthy and less isolated. Since 2007, Age Action has helped over 13,000 older people to use the internet and computers, and for many it was their first time going online. These skills has opened up new worlds for older people and changed their lives for the better. Age Action wants to break down the barriers to using technology, inspire people and build their confidence.