We help people with physical and sensory disability cross the digital divide and gain a higher level of independence. To apply, please click on this link.
People who have benefitted from our tuition have gone on to start businesses, write stories, create music, join groups, campaign for causes, try online dating and make friends around the world. Our tutors tell of blind people who for the first time in their lives have the ability to read their own personal letters using a scanner and a screen reader. They also tell of isolated people reaching out not just locally but anywhere in the world to talk to friends, and make new ones, using free programmes such as Skype. To see how the work of UCanDoIT really impacts on people's lives go to our Learners Profiles page and see what they have to say.
UCanDoIT is proud of the difference the charity makes to its’ learners. Some of our learners have chosen to share their newly learnt (or improved) skills with other learners by joining the charity as a tutor. Hazel Dudley is one of our learners who joined the charity this way.
"I started work as a shorthand typist. When I gave up typing for a living I had a number of jobs including demonstrating new equipment made especially for people who are blind. Although I have never undergone any formal teacher training I knew I had a gift for it because I used to teach Braille to younger children when I was at school. I also taught English as a second language and did some reporting for the BBC.
By the end of the 90s I was back to teaching Braille again and at the same time I met JAWS (a screen reader). I quickly learned the rudiments of word processing - a mystery to me at the start because I had always been taught not to make errors because, being blind, it was impossible to correct. In fact when I took the Royal Society of Arts Intermediate Typewriting exam (I was 19) I came 14th out of 25,000! The exam, as you can imagine, was for all.
I bought my first computer, a Dell desktop in 2000 and at the beginning of the next year I started my UCanDoIT course. At the first lesson I was bemused by emails and how they worked but by the end of the lesson I had used the internet to look on the website I most wanted - Liverpoolfc.tv for the latest updates and all I could ever want to know about the team I'd followed for years. I found the course quite daunting but would sit up all night if that's what it took, to understand and gain experience. It was hard work, but, like anything, the more you put into something the more you get out of it.
I now have three laptops and can't keep off Facebook or Twitter, even on the phone. As with most things I've learned in my life, they open new doors. I applied to UCanDoIT and was accepted as a tutor. I've enjoyed meeting students and encouraging them. I think it can be quite helpful for them too as, if they see someone else blind who can do it, then it may be a source of encouragement to them that they can too. I enjoy being involved with UCanDoIT as I believe in the charity and everything it is doing.
The other thing it has meant for me is that I am often invited to do web testing to help companies in their design of websites and accessibility for disabled people."