Guide Dogs reveals over half of British parents have been 'tech-shamed' – IT News Online

– 45% confess to judging other parents over kids’ screen times
– However, nearly a third of parents say having a tablet has helped their child feel less lonely during the pandemic
– 61% of parents unable to afford to give their children tech, despite rising need for devices
LONDON, Nov. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — More than 50% of parents in the UK have revealed that they have felt ‘judged’ by fellow parents if their children have been on their tablet or phone whilst out and about, a new report has revealed.
Research from charity Guide Dogs has highlighted the rise in ‘tech-shaming’ across the UK, with a further 45% of survey respondents also admitting to judging others for how much time their children spend on screens.
The revealing figures are likely born from an overall increase in screen time for children, with the survey showing that four in 10 primary school-age children are spending more time in front of screens than before the pandemic.
Guide Dogs, however, is urging parents to recognise how tech can actually transform their children’s lives.
Emma Foulds, Director of Tech for All at Guide Dogs, commented: “Technology can be a great enabler for children and young people. For those with a visual impairment, tech gives them a sense of normality, confidence and independence. It enables visually impaired children to connect with their peers, learn more quickly and explore hobbies and interests they may not otherwise be able to. Instead of rushing to judge parents who allow their children screen time, we need to look at the benefits of tech when used for good and not be so quick to judge other parents.”
Indeed, nearly two thirds of parents surveyed by Guide Dogs stated that having a tablet has encouraged their child to learn – and rather than endlessly ‘scrolling’, the survey has shown that nearly half of children use their tablets for drawing; over a third for reading; and one in nine use them to access mindfulness or mental health apps.
The report comes as Guide Dogs highlights its new Tech for All scheme. This will enable thousands of children across the country with a visual impairment to have free technology to empower them in everyday life. 
6 year-old Nell Sutton has no vision in her left eye and limited vision in her right eye due to hereditary glaucoma. However, this does not hold her back and receiving a Tech for All iPad has enabled Nell to develop her cooking skills – something she is extremely passionate about. Nell is able to bake cookies independently for the first time helped by her new tech device:
Scottish entrepreneur, TV personality and professional traveller Amar Latif is supportive of the launch of Tech for All. Amar lost almost all his sight by his late teens but the basic technology of the times (tape cassettes!) helped him to get a degree in maths & finance.
Amar says: “I’m passionate about Tech for All and how children should have access to as much technology as possible. Medical science has, in many ways, stalled as far as helping visually impaired people but technology has come on in leaps and bounds and helped liberate us. It puts everyone on an equal footing. It’s all a far cry to when I studied for a maths degree with my textbooks and lecture notes all on cassette tapes.” 
Emma added: “We have launched Tech For All to empower children and young people with a vision impairment. Whether they chose to use the tech to Facetime mates or family members, play games, read or learn, the accessibility features on an iPad or iPhone can be key to unlocking a child’s world and maximising their potential.
“However, technology is still not accessible enough and this can be frustrating for both child and parent. This is why Guide Dogs is passionate about helping visually impaired children of all backgrounds to be able to access this crucial tech, to ensure they can reach their potential and not feel left behind by peers.”
The research underlines this sentiment, with four in 10 parents surveyed saying their child has been ‘laughed at’ by friends if they don’t have the latest tech – and a further 61% confessing the cost of tech prevents them from getting the tech they’d like to for their families. 
Tech For All will provide free assistive technology to all children with a vision impairment aged between three and 18 in the UK. 
The scheme has so far helped almost 3,000 children and young people in its first few months and aims to help potentially 10,000 by the end of 2022, should the pilot be successful. 
Eligible applicants can apply by visiting:
Notes to editors
About the research

The research was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB. All surveys were conducted between 27th August 2021 and 31st August 2021. The sample comprised 1,000 UK parents of 4-11-year-olds. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (2018). 
About Tech for All

Guide Dogs has launched the Tech for All scheme to provide a free iPad or iPhone to children and young people with a vision impairment, aged 3-18, to use outside of school.  We also provide a digital learning programme to make sure they get the most out of their device. With excellent assistive technology built-in as standard, such as screen magnification, voiceover and audio descriptions, an iPad or iPhone can break down barriers and make many activities easier, like reading in larger fonts and magnifying photos.
Guide Dogs is working with BT Enterprise to supply the Apple devices directly to Tech For All applicants, with Apple iPhones loaded with pre-paid EE mobile SIMs to help young people and their families get connected straight away. 
BT will also be providing learning activities for the Apple devices to ensure each child or young person can get the most from their device, helping them to live independently. 
The Tech for All scheme is running from now until January 23rd 2022 and technology is available while stocks last. To find out more or to apply, visit
About Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs is a British charitable organisation formally founded in 1934,[2] three years after the UK’s first guide dogs were trained and matched to their owners in October 1931.
Guide Dogs exists to help people with sight loss live the life they choose. We help blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other services for both adults and children. We also campaign for the rights of those with vision impairments and invest in research.
For more information visit