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RNID and Ivan Lewis Get Started!

10 July 2003

In a move to encourage the deaf and hard-of-hearing who have never used the internet, to get online Ivan Lewis, the Minister for Young People and Adult Skills today visited the Royal National Institute for the Deaf's (RNID) head office as part of the Government's UK Online Get Started Campaign.

Meeting with members of the RNID's Employment Learning and Skills Service and deaf and hard-of-hearing people, the Minister reiterated the importance of the internet for users with disabilities, not just as a tool to enhance skills, but as a means to look for training and employment opportunities.

John Low, Chief Executive of the RNID commented: "The internet is an ideal form of communication for deaf and hard of hearing people. For many, it can be a crucial lifeline and revolutionise their lives. There is a 19% unemployment rate amongst deaf people, compared to 5% nationally. Gaining IT skills is a significant way to help buck that trend."

The "Get Started" campaign is aimed at non-users such as older people, people with disabilities, those on low incomes, ethnic minority groups, the long-term unemployed and lone parents. "Get Started" will run until 31 July.

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