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Leeds Digital Festival #ldf19 : Can digital offer sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers? 1st May 2019 10-12

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People seeking refuge and asylum in our city face many challenges, of which technology can be a help and a hindrance. This event focuses on the role of technology in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers alongside consideration of issues of digital exclusion.

Dr Glenda Garelli, lecturer in human geography at the University of Leeds will share insights into the research she has undertaken in this field. Ian McArdle, Digital Inclusion Coordinator for Leeds Libraries will speak about how the council is helping people access digital technologies and promote digital inclusion via the 100% Digital Leeds Initiative that was recently showcased in an ITV documentary.

Ben McKenna, chief executive of Bradford based Solidaritech will explain how his organisation, which repurposes old laptops and digital devices to pass on toe asylum seekers and refugees, is making a real difference to people’s lives.

Jon Beech, director of Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, will share insights into the day-to-day use of tech by various migrants in Leeds – the ups and downs of relying on tech when you are living in poverty in a country where it’s unlawful for you to have a phone on contract and you don’t speak the language.

This event will be of interest to anyone working with refugees and asylum seekers who is interested in the role of digital technologies. It is also relevant to civic minded digital innovators who are interested in this topic area.

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