Go ON Gold: Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson





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Published on Jun 26, 2012

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, former Paralympic athlete and 11-time gold medal winner, talks to Go ON Gold -- Online access for disabled people.

"When I was an athlete I remember a point where I had to communicate with my coaches by fax machine. My coach was living in Australia, and that was fine until we were both travelling, and you were both trying to find a fax machine in South Africa, and Los Angeles... and you look back now and think how unbelievable it is that you can send an email or a text and it's there, or you can Skype somebody, or you can get in touch with them in all sorts of different, immediate ways.

"The ability to shop online, the ability not to have to go to a supermarket which as a wheelchair user is a bit of a pain in the neck. To be able to do things which just save you time and effort makes a huge difference, and I know it's a small thing but just being able to go online and find out if somewhere that I want to go to is accessible, makes a huge difference. Because then if it's not, it doesn't actually ever stop me going there, but it just means I plan how I'm going to get there, what I'm going to do, what I'm going to drink, whether I'm going to go to the loo or not when I'm there, all sorts of things you probably don't want to talk to with people outside your family, but I think it just gives you the chance and the ability to plan things better.

"Certainly in the last few years there's been a lot more discussion about websites being accessible, and making sure they're accessible to visually impaired people or people with learning disabilities and I think we can still do an awful lot more to make sure that when we talk about accessibility, it's open to lots of people with different needs, but also I think some of it is about the cost and I think it's about trying to help people understand that I think it's a useful way of spending money.

"But also I think it's quite important that companies do everything they can to keep costs down, and in terms of equipment for disabled people, it tends to cost more, chairs, cushions, needing very specialist adaptations for your computer, that costs money, and it would be great if there was some way of those who have the need, that they can access that technology in a cheaper way for them individually, because once they have access to the internet and all the things it can provide, it opens up this massive world for them."

Go ON Gold is a campaign to help disabled people get online and access digital technologies that are essential to modern life. Whether you are an individual or an organisation, we can help you and we need your help.

To find out more about how to get online; help others get online; or ensure your own digital services are accessible, please visit our website:

Spread the word, embed this video, join us. Pass it on.

Film by Catch21 Productions.
The campaign is supported by Nominet Trust - making change happen.


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