Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 18 May 2023 20:05

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. 

In its 12th year, Global Accessibility Awareness Day aims to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access, and the more than One Billion people worldwide with disabilities and impairments. 

As former Minister for Disabled People and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, I am particularly passionate about access to the internet for those with disabilities.

The introduction of the digital entitlement means that since August 2020, adults with no or low digital skills can undertake new Essential Digital Skills qualifications (EDSQs) up to Level 1 free of charge. EDSQs are a new qualification type, based on new national standards for essential digital skills, which provide adults with the digital skills needed for life and work.  

I am also proud that the Government has published its Online Media Literacy Strategy. This strategy is a complementary measure to my Department’s, Online Safety Bill and will play a critical role in meeting the ambition to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. Our media literacy programs are, amongst other things, helping to adapt initiatives to be suitable for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and trialing innovative methods to bring digital media literacy skills to the elderly. Further information about the strategy can be found by searching:

Lack of connectivity is a root cause of digital exclusion. The Government has committed £5 billion to support the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband to the hardest-to-reach areas of the UK had been allocated. This funding will be used to ensure that hard-to-reach premises will get access to 1,000mbps-capable broadband along with the rest of the UK. Over 75% per cent of UK premises now have a gigabit-capable connection - a huge leap forwards from just over one in twenty in January 2019. Furthermore, the Government is working with industry to target a minimum of 85 per cent gigabit-capable coverage by 2025, with the ambition to accelerate roll-out further to get as close to 100 per cent as possible. 

For further information on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, please visit: Home - GAAD (