“Digital is here – embrace it, or survive it”: Four key takeaways from the 2022 Dismantling Digital Barriers Summit

Speakers emphasized the role of community ownership and staff involvement in building technology for social impact.

Why It Matters

There is still a significant proportion of the Canadian population that expresses “digital hesitancy”, which the Canadian social impact sector needs to keep in mind when developing programs. But data and digital tools are increasingly becoming important mechanisms for organizations to increase the reach of their services, and be transparent about where funding is needed most.

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At the North York Community House, an organization helping newcomers settle into Toronto, the pandemic was the catalyst to begin digital service provision – including providing virtual childcare services. For recently retired executive director Shelley Zuckerman, these new services threw up additional challenges: how could newcomers form meaningful connections online, and how could staff be best trained and supported to continue providing these services online?

Today, the North

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