The head of digital accessibility for the Scottish Government is to take up an equality, diversity and inclusion role on the board of the public sector IT association, Socitm.

Kevin White – who works in the Office of the Chief Designer section of the Digital Directorate – took up his appointment as a non-executive director with the organisation from February 1.

David Bryant, CEO of Socitm, said: “On behalf of the board, I am delighted to welcome Kevin. It’s a key appointment, so for him to join with the skills and experience he brings, is a huge boost to our organisation. It will strengthen and enhance the important work we are doing in this area, throughout all parts of the business.”

Kevin said: “I’m really pleased to join Socitm and help develop accessibility and inclusion as a key policy theme. It’s really exciting to have chance to influence how public services are created. Accessible digital services are fundamental in creating an ethical and inclusive public sector for all citizens.”

Socitm has ambitious plans for accessibility in 2021, starting with a dedicated event on 9 and 10 February, newly added to its programme. During day one of the online event, titled From Compliance to Confidence, Kevin will be leading a discussion on involving users to create accessible user experiences.

Chantelle Levoir, Finance and operations director at Socitm, added: “Kevin’s skills are in online accessibility, so his appointment is great news as this is an area which is a really hot topic for our members. It links perfectly to our accessibility event, and we look forward to his input and learning more about the work he is truly passionate about.”

Other initiatives this year include specific training as part of Socitm’s Leadership Academy, to create steps to embed processes and techniques to ensure diverse and inclusive practise within the public sector.

The organisation also released its public sector digital trends report for 2021 this week, produced in association with the Linked Organisation of Local Authority ICT Societies (LOLA) and Major Cities of Europe.

Supported with personal contributions from UK local authorities and others around the world, the report provides a comprehensive look at the opportunities for the public sector. It highlights the crucial role of local authorities in helping communities to reset, reform and renew themselves and to become more resilient to future shocks.

Director of policy and research at Socitm, Martin Ferguson, said: “We’re delighted to launch this report today. It takes the discussion on from the phenomenal response in March 2020 by the public sector to onset of the pandemic, to where authorities can go in harnessing new technologies and data to create better outcomes, often in collaboration with local partners and communities.”