We help disabled people cross the digital divide and gain a higher level of independence. 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 and their lives go to our Learners
Profiles page and see what they have to say.
UCanDoIT with the support of Click Pharmacy 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 90's 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 Id followed for years.
I found the course quite daunting but would sit up all night if that 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 have learned in my life, they open new doors.
I applied to UCanDoIT and was accepted as a tutor. I have 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.'
Visually Impaired Learner Achieves
Karen Gervaise, 44, has become the first of our Visually Impaired Learners to achieve her ITQ.
Karen lost her sight when she had a brain tumour removed. She previously worked as a Nursery
Nurse before her sight loss and would still like to be involved with children on an administrative
basis. Achieving ITQ Level 1 has given her the confidence to apply for administration roles.
Karen had little experience of using a computer before taking the ITQ and has achieved this
qualification using Jaws, a screen-reading programme.