Charity registered in Scotland SC011330
- Award: £6,000 via Call 1
The project will purchase new height adjustable specialized computer desks to allow direct wheelchair access in the Information and Communication Technology suite at Upper Springland, one of Capability Scotlands residential and day services in Perth. This will enable wheelchair access in the ICT suite and as a result the residents at Upper Springland to use the equipment to its full capacity for educational and social purposes without significant staff support.
Overall this project has made technology accessible to service users and residents at Upper Springland. Since the new adjustable desks have been fitted the IT Suite has been used much more, making this project a success.
Here is James’ story:
James is an extremely sociable young man, who enjoys interacting with friends, family and the wider world. He has cerebral palsy, limited mobility and communication difficulties. He currently access speech through the use of a voice output communication devise which he not only uses to communicate but also uses to control his immediate environment such as his television, radio and DVD player. He also uses an electric wheelchair to independently travel. James would consider himself to be fairly independent, and strives to develop these skills in every aspect of his daily living.
James like most young men is keen to develop ICT skills and views computer technology as the gate way to a world full of information communication. When at home he is supported by his mother to connect with friends on Facebook, chat to distant family members via Skype, as well as use the Internet to catch up on his favourite soap operas. However, before the refit at the Studio James was unable to access such applications due to environmental physical restraints such as inaccessible computer desks which do not allow for adequate access to ICT equipment such as touch screen computers. One of James personal goals was to become as independent as possible when using the ICT suite here at Upper Springland.
With support from Upper Springland’s Occupational Therapist James began the process of exploring alternatives to the provision currently available within the computer suite. Together he and OT set themselves the task of creating a responsive environment tailored towards his needs.
Now with the new cut away adaptive table tops, James can access his touch screen computer and no longer requires staff support. He uses his grid 2 application/interface to check up with friends on social media, chat with friends and family members on Skype as well as surf the net for gossip about his favourite soap operas.
Other customer feedback about the IT Suite:
Greig: “It is fantastic. I can work it myself. I use the computer to make Skype telephone calls to my old school friends”
Jason: “I like it, it’s good.”
Pat: “It looks good, there is more space and I can get in close to the table to work the computers”
Lisa Crabb “It’s an easier working environment, as a staff member we are able to create personal work stations suitable for each customer attending our sessions.”
The funding from SCVO has enabled Capability Scotland to create a responsive environment that caters for the individual needs of our customers. The space is far more accessible and customer friendly as each work space can be adapted to meet the needs of its user e.g. specific height and technology which is controlled by the customer accessing the space.
Things that worked well:
Continual Customer involvement was a crucial element in ensuring the environment developed was responsive to all customers’ needs and preferences. Customer focused and user friendly.
Things we would have done differently:
There is still work to be done in prmoting the IT Suite as a community resource which can be accessedd bu other disabled people living in the Perth area.