DPULOs, social media and accessible engagement – discussion paper Expression of Interest


Social media – such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – has become a vital tool in the way organisations engage with people.

It is thought that social media may not be as accessible / available to disabled people as it is to non-disabled people, reflecting many of the barriers associated with getting different groups of people online.

However, it is unknown:

  • How much DPULOs currently use social media to engage disabled people, and how effective their use of it is
  • How well Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations understand and/or value the potential for social media to engage disabled people
  • What barriers DPULOs face in using social media – particularly, but not exclusively, relating to accessibility
  • Whether social media presents a particular opportunity for DPULOs to engage young disabled people in their work.

The Strengthening DPULOs Programme is keen to find out more about these issues.

What we are going to do

We would like to commission a discussion paper – ideally from a DPULO itself – to help begin our exploration of the issues above. This paper would help shape and inform work some Ambassadors of the Strengthening DPULOs Programme will be doing in 2013.

The objectives of the paper would be to:

  • Describe the potential and actual benefits of social media for user engagement in general
  • Understand the potential and actual benefits of social media for engaging disabled people in particular
  • Identify barriers to the use of social media by disabled people and highlight any existing or potential solutions
  • Identify barriers to the use of social media by DPULOs and highlight any existing or potential solutions
  • Contribute to and analyse the data we have available to estimate DPULOs’ use of social media
  • Identify any good practice that might already exist on DPULO use of social media
  • Suggest particular projects or work that could further explore the issue of DPULOs, social media and user engagement.

The particular issue of how social media represents an opportunity for DPULOs to engage young disabled people should run throughout all of the above.

The structure of the paper would broadly reflect the objectives above.

How you can get involved

We would like to commission an organisation – ideally a DPULO – to write this discussion paper. The work would be primarily desk-based, although we are open to any suggestions organisations have that would enable the objectives above to be achieved whilst also delivering value for money.

As a broad guide, we anticipate this work would take between 15-20 days to complete.

Expressions of Interest

We would like organisations to submit a brief (no more than 3 sides A4) Expression of Interest to deliver this discussion paper

Your Expression of Interest should cover:

  • Your organisation’s understanding of what a DPULO is and what it does
  • Your organisation’s knowledge, understanding and expertise regarding social media. This should include details of your organisation’s own use of social media
  • Your organisation’s knowledge and understanding of the barriers disabled people and their organisations face online
  • Your organisation’s experience in delivering high quality written materials in relatively short timescales (including examples / references)
  • Your organisation’s capacity to demonstrate the ability to deliver this work in a short timescale
  • Your proposed daily rate for this work.

This Expression of Interest will be considered and marked by the Strengthening DPULOs Programme team, and the successful organisation will be chosen solely on the basis of the information provided. The work will be resourced through a grant to the successful organisation.

Please submit your Expression of Interest to Richard.Watts1@dwp.gsi.gov.uk by 5pm on Friday 14 December.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Rich above. Similarly, if you know an organisation that may be interested, please pass this information on to them.

November 2012


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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