Grants for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones and internet connection
The Act Foundation provides grants with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for people in need who have a physical or mental disability or the aged. Specialist IT equipment and software can be funded by grants of up to £2500. Call 01753 753900.
Older people – Friends of the Elderly grant criteria include Digital Connection grants to help older people get online and stay connected. They can be used towards the cost of equipment such as tablets and smartphones as well as broadband costs.
Disabled people – RNIB offer means-tested grants to registered blind or partially sighted people for useful technology that can help them live independently e.g. mobile phones or accessibility software.
Borrowing or buying equipment
Get Online at Home is one of the organisations that sell refurbished laptops and PCs to people on benefits. It also serves charities, as does Computers for Charities. There are also lots of retailers for easy-use and assistive technology – for example Hands Free Computing; Tech Silver.
The Resource Centre has equipment like laptops, data projectors, video recorders and digital cameras available to hire to community groups for events. It also has computers, useful software like Photoshop and InDesign, a scanner and print room.
IT support for disabled people
FREE computer support at home for disabled people and older people living with frailty is offered by:
- AbilityNet – ITCanHelp 0800 269 545
- RNIB – Online Today (for people with sensory loss) 03031 239999
- Age UK (for older people) 01273 720603
The Aidis Trust supports disabled people with technology advice. Helpline: 0808 800 0009
Online learning for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones
Everyone: FREE online learning packages are easily available! They include BBC Webwise; Alison (e.g. a touch typing tutorial); Microsoft Digital Literacy (basic skills) Barclays Digital Driving Licence; Learn my Way; FutureLearn (for more advanced courses); GCF Learn Free (for social media and other topics such as Microsoft Word); Google’s Digital Garage and BT.
Small businesses: Visit Britain‘s Online Marketing Toolkit – covers bookings, advertising, social media, building your website and maximising SEO. Great Business‘s “Do More Online” has step-by-step advice including how to start an online shop. For Office products like Word, Excel and Outlook, try Microsoft Help & Training.
Charities: The Charity Digital Toolkit includes a chapter on digital fundraising.
Careers: National Careers Service – lots of useful online tools