Developing older people's digital literacy through creative engagement

Developing older people's digital literacy through creative engagement

By Kathryn Dempsey


FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is the UK's leading media arts centre based in Liverpool. Can you hear me? I can see you! was FACT’s year-long programme working with residents of Sheltered Housing across Liverpool, Wigan and Warrington. Supported by the Baring Foundation, the programme set out to build the digital literacy of the older people aged 55 to 95  through creative engagement with artists and resulted in an exhibition of prototype communication devices that were developed with the residents.


  • 40 participants took part in 30 workshops over 7 months
  • 50% of residents involved bought iPads as a result of being engaged with the project and continue to use them in everyday activities
  • High quality exhibition at FACT that supported the development of emerging artists
  • 1,133 visitors attended the exhibition over 2 weeks
  • The following positive changes were observed in the participants at the end of the project:
    • 60% increase in digital literacy
    • 70% increase in confidence using computers
    • 75% increase in understanding around terminology i.e. app, online, offline etc
    • 95% increase well-being
  • Increased appreciation within the housing association as to the role of creative learning in residents lives
  • Ongoing commitment from the housing association to continue Wifi provision in residents lounges due to demand from participants.
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013