Achieving Digital Equity project

Legal Aid BC’s Achieving Digital Equity (ADE) research project documented the barriers to accessing digital legal resources faced by many people across BC. The study explored digital equity challenges, how many are affected, and what can be done to ensure people can access the legal help they need, even if they can’t go online.

The components of the ADE study included: a review of literature on digital equity and access to justice; a quantitative survey of BC residents; surveys and focus groups with community workers, Elders, and service providers; and interviews exploring digital legal resource user journeys. The study took place from September 2020 to October 2021.

Reports from these activities are posted below.

Achieving Digital Equity in Access to Justice: Final Report

Consultant: Kate M. Murray
October 2021

ADE Final Report cover

The project’s final report synthesizes key themes, insights, and implications that have emerged through all project components.

ADE Final Report

Literature Review: Digital Equity in Access to Justice

Consultant: Kate M. Murray
May 2021

Literature Review Cover

The ADE project conducted a review of literature on the barriers to access and use of digital technologies broadly, with a focus on digital legal resources. Three broad questions guided this review:

  • What are the intersecting barriers to accessing and using legal help online?
  • Who is affected, how, and at what points?
  • What are promising approaches to increasing digital equity in BC’s public legal sector?

ADE Literature Review - Summary Report
ADE Literature Review - Full Report

Quantitative Survey of BC Residents

Consultant: The Sentis Group
June 2021

Province-wide Survey of BC Residents Cover

LABC commissioned The Sentis Group to conduct a quantitative survey of BC residents. Mailed to households in March 2021, the survey asked about:

  • technology access and use,
  • barriers to internet use,
  • confidence and comfort with searching for legal resources online, and
  • impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ADE Survey of Lower Income BC Residents Report

Seeking Legal Help Online: User Journey Interviews

Consultant: Agentic Digital Media
August 2021

User Journey interviews report cover

In this part of the study, Agentic Digital Media conducted experiential interviews with residents across BC to learn about their digital resource user journeys. During the interviews, we asked about:

  • approaches to seeking legal help
  • whether or not digital legal resources are easy to find, and easy to use, and
  • what could be improved.

ADE User Journey Interviews Report

Digital Equity and Digital Legal Resources: Workers’ Perspectives

Consultant: Kate M. Murray
Focus groups: Adam Fraser; Jai Djwa (Agentic Digital Media)
September 2021

Workers perspectives report cover

We wanted to hear the important perspectives of outreach and intake staff, community workers, Elders, and service providers who often work with people facing barriers to accessing digital legal resources. In these parts of the study, we:

  • surveyed diverse community workers, Elders, and service providers to hear about the issues and barriers emerging in their work,
  • tracked LABC staff and partners’ referrals to digital legal resources, and
  • held focus groups to provide training on selected LABC digital legal tools, and hear how to improve access to digital legal resources and legal help.

ADE Workers’ Perspectives Report

Research Presentations

Watch our two-part series on Achieving Digital Equity in a Post-Digital Era, hosted by the Public Legal Education Association of Canada in November 2021.

  • Watch session 1 (focusing on our literature review, and quantitative survey of BC residents)
  • Watch session 2 (focusing on user journey interviews, workers’ perspectives, and overall project highlights)

Legal Aid BC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Legal Services Society/​Law Foundation Legal Research Fund which is funding the Achieving Digital Equity Project

Report type
Public Legal Education and Information