Bringing out the Digital Leonard Cheshire Disability Scotland

Leonard Cheshire Disability Scotland

Charity registered in Scotland SC005117

  • From 6th April 2015 to 31st March 2016
  • Award: £9,966 via Call 2

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Project plan

Project description

We will employ a specialised Digital Advisor one day per week to deliver digital inclusion workshops and personalised one-to-one support.

The post-holder will be home-based and responsible for delivering the following activities over 9 months:
• 6 digital outreach community workshops
• Work with 40 disabled people learn basic online skills across the Highlands

The project will:
• Build IT literacy capacity of people with disabilities through increased digital inclusion and specialised support
• Digital inclusivity will lead to disabled people having the opportunity to maintain and cultivate relationships (both professionally and personally), promoting social inclusion and enhanced well-being
• Increase disabled clients’ opportunities to access various online tools, such as, completing employment applications, internet banking, and online shopping, email, and social networking
• Increased self-esteem and confidence in people with disabilities, leading to more people with disabilities becoming digitally engaged and improving their quality of life.



We organised a meeting with Cheshire House in order to determine what subjects the clients would be interested in. Each client was asked what they would like to achieve and the reasons they wanted to become more proficient in use of the computer. We gave them some ideas but also asked for their preferences:
• Internet safety
• Basic course of using computers
• How to use the technology (moving on to how to use it by yourself)
• How to find things on the internet
• Want to find educational games (lower the amount of time spent on YouTube)
• How to edit settings on the computer (i.e. increase the font size, change size of the cursor -> looking at it for different versions)
• How they can use a computer to make art
• Other Points
• Additional equipment (chin buttons, arms, magnifying screens)

There is definitely a possibility of getting both volunteers and residents involved depending on their availability.

8th September 2015
We delivered a workshop at Cheshire House to 5 clients of varying capabilities and after completing an initial assessment form and a permission to use their images we discussed their individual requirements regarding the workshop and we began with a basic session in how to turn on the computer. This was followed by information on the different parts of the computer and what they all do. After starting the computer we looked at the desktop and how to navigate to different places.

The general input was that although several of the clients were able to access programmes such as social network sites they had to be set up by a third party. We looked at how to access the internet and how to use a search engine and everyone, some with assistance, was able to access a website of their choice.

The general feedback was that the session had been useful and the clients had benefitted from it. The session was delivered in a light-hearted manner and this approach seems to work with this particular client group. We made a decision on our session for the following week that we will be explaining how to use email.

Had a discussion with Alison at Cantraybridge College to prepare for our first workshop there on the 15th September. We checked all the resources were in place and looked at the room in which we will be delivering the session which contains a smart board and several laptops although some of the students will use their own. We will be following the programme from Cheshire House but will change any aspects as we progress.

September 15th 2015
We will be receiving a DIT kit to enable us to operate in a more mobile fashion and it will comprise of the following:
1x High spec laptop (I5 4210 1TB 16GB with Windows 7 and MS Office)
2x Standard laptops (I3 4100 500GB 4GB with Windows 7 and MS Office)
1 x Kensington rollerball mouse
1 x Optima Joystick mouse
1 x large key keyboard
2 x Jellybean switch (for use with Joystick mouse and Grid 2)
1 x Joy Cable
1 x text Help Read & Write
1 x Dragon Naturally Speaking
1 x Inspiration

This will be a useful addition to our resources.

Delivered the second workshop at Cheshire House.
Started with a Q & A on the previous week and all information had been successfully retained. We looked at email and set up a new email address for all the clients and showed them how to write and send emails. We sent a number back and forth between the clients and a colleague & me making it a successful session. The clients are now confident in the use of email and we then touched on social networking, which will be our session for next week.

I had 5 clients and the feedback from Lisa Oliver suggests that they are gaining some knowledge and experience from the sessions.

Delivered the first workshop at Cantraybridge College to 5 and later 6 students.
All Initial Assessments and permission slips were completed and after an initial hiccup, which was soon ironed out, we then had a successful session. The clients are slightly more advanced than the group at Cheshire House so we started a little farther along the road. I ensured however that no one was not at the same place and we had a discussion about internet safety to which I gave several tips and ideas that the clients took on board. The group indicated that they would like more information on email and writing a CV which will be the basis of our next session.

22nd September 2015
Delivered 3rd session at Cheshire House and we covered e mail attachments and internet searching. We explained how to access images on the internet and used them as attachments which we emailed to each other as a practice. We also did the same with videos and on both we had a successful session and gave the clients the ability to interact with their peer group. This was well received as they are not resident at Cheshire House and enjoy keeping in contact with each other when they are not attending the centre. We are waiting for the arrival of some equipment that will improve use of the computer to several of the clients such as easier to read monitors and this will surely enhance the skills that the clients are developing. We have decided on a session on online activities for next week and will look at educational games as well as other related items.

Delivered 2nd session at Cantraybridge College and covered email and storing documents in the cloud system so that it is always available to the user. We looked at Outlook’s One Drive and Google Drive and ran through the system and how to upload documents and then attach them to emails. We then demonstrated how achieve this and the group seemed quite happy with this as it was a system with which they were unfamiliar. We then looked at Microsoft applications and concentrated on Word where we looked at the tool bars and explained all the functions and their use in composing a document. The clients then experimented on their laptops and wrote some text and changed the font, pitch, colour and appearance amongst other things and seemed comfortable with this. We also looked at a programme to help with gaining typing skills and we will pursue this at the next session and had a general discussion on what other subjects we would cover in the following week and the group decided that they would like some more information on Office programmes so we will look at Excel and Power Point.

Tuesday 29th September 2015
Delivered a session at Cheshire House and we covered social media. Set up everyone that did not have one with a Facebook account. We explained how to use the account safely, setting privacy settings and then showed the group how to set up a profile including a photo and a cover photo. Demonstrated how to post stories and share them with “friends” and attach items such as photos and pictures. We looked at instant messaging and practiced sending messages to one person and how to form a group of “friends”. Once again this was a useful exercise as the group are all day-clients and like to keep in touch with each other when not in the centre. One of the clients had a new iPhone so we had a mini session on setting up social network sites on this. The groups then sent messages and pictures to each other as individuals and as a group.

Delivered a session at Cantraybridge College and we covered the use of Word documents in more detail. We looked at composing a document and how to make it look professional, easy to read and stand out. We ran through the various aspects of Word from selecting a blank page or template through selecting fonts, pitch and layout. I demonstrated how to set tabs and why we use them and we looked how to print a document. I explained how spell check worked and we looked at the system which highlights in red for spelling, green for grammatical error and blue for contextualisation. We then let the students write some text and then changed it in a number of ways such as pitch, font, and orientation and prepared it for printing a number of copies. The candidates were all pleased with the information they have received over the last 3 weeks and they felt more confident about their abilities. We presented them with a certificate to show they had attended the course and I offered to supply any further assistance that they may need.

Tuesday 13th October 2015
Delivered a session at Cheshire House and we looked at utilising programmes and resources on the system to make a calendar. Set up a template so everyone had the same basic idea to work with. We then went through the months and tried to find some relevant picture for each one. Demonstrated how to access pictures online using Google images and similar programmes. Also used photographs from their files as most clients wanted to have a photograph of themselves on each month. Explained how to cut and paste and increase and decrease sizing on pictures and how to move them to different places on the calendar. When we reached October this generated a discussion on Halloween and we then planned to design some posters for the Halloween party at out next session. We will probably be finishing off the calendars at the next session as well but a few of the clients will be able to finish theirs beforehand. We have planned to also look at educational games and how to access them and the value of playing them to help with things such as maths and English.

20th October 2015
Delivered a session at Cheshire House to 4 clients and we finished off the calendar project from last week. Several clients wanted to change some of their pictures so we once again demonstrated how to access and save pictures/photographs to use in their calendar. We also had requests to make cards for Halloween as well as posters and we found a template that would make the process easier. We have now completed the calendars and will be printing and binding them in the next few days. We also looked at using animation on the calendars but as they all wanted them printed out this would not work. I suggested that they keep a calendar on their computers but this was not what they wanted. We had planned to also look at educational games and how to access them and the value of playing them to help with things such as maths and English but highlighted the need for a
refresher on internet safety and will make this our session next week.

Delivered a session at Cantrybridge College to a new group of 6 but there will possibly be a 7th next week. We completed the paperwork and I gave an overview of the course and had a general chat to the students. We looked at basics of IT and talked about what things they would like to learn. Highlighted the level that the group were at and most had a good understanding of the subject but were still keen to update their knowledge on several different aspects. We did a session on internet safety and discussed anti-virus programmes and how to operate in a safe and responsible manner when on line. We also looked at cloud storage and how to use it and its advantages. We have discussed a session for next week on emails and Word.

3rd November 2015
Delivered a session to a new group of 4 at Cheshire House where we completed the paperwork and I gave an overview of the course. We looked at the basics of IT but had some problems with the computers so we did not cover as much as I would have liked. It was useful however as I established a rapport with the new clients.

Delivered a session at Cantrybridge College to a group of 6. We looked at and Word and discussed all its applications and how it could be useful to the clients. Although they had a working knowledge of the programme they were not confident about all the options and how to use them. We did the first part of the session with the smart board and then the students sat with their laptops/tablets and we composed a document and we used the different options to change it. The students seemed to have got the idea and we will look at email in the next session.

10th November 2015
Delivered a session to a group of 4 at Cheshire House where we returned to the subject of the basics of IT and found a level for the session. Most of the clients were familiar with certain aspects of IT but usually for things such as social networking and games. We looked at how to use the internet to get photographs and pictures of objects to use in their calendars as they wanted to continue what the previous group had done and so we used this activity as a learning session and everyone seemed to be satisfied with the outcome. We will look at social networking in more depth next week and also at online shopping.

Delivered a session at Cantrybridge College to a group of 6.
We did a revision session on Word and everyone had remembered most of the session from last week. We then used the knowledge gained to send an email. Most of the clients had email addresses and only used them for access to their social networking sites. We looked at the advantages of email vs. snail mail. I explained the different options on an email such as CC and BCC and how to set up a signature. We also looked at attaching documents and they then practiced on their own laptops/ tablets. We also briefly looked at accessing and downloading music and will follow this up in more detail at the next session where we will also look at internet shopping.

17th November 2015
Delivered a session to a group of 3 at Cheshire House where we ran through the printing of their calendars and manged to get the calendars bound as well. We looked at social media and showed the group how to access YouTube and to find their favourite videos. We then looked at how we could use these in other projects and will explore this further in the next session. One of the clients is going to Australia so we looked at how to access information about his journey and how to find events online in a particular area. We will look at online shopping in the next session and potentially revisit on line safety.

Delivered a session to 5 students and we looked at online shopping and how to sign up to various sites including Ebay and Amazon. We also looked at the pros and cons of having a PayPal account and how to set one up. We decided to combine the skills that the group had gained from the past few weeks and design a calendar. This was a useful exercise as we revisited such applications as Word, Clip art, search engines, to download pics, and how to upload items in to the calendar using the tools within the programmes. The students were given an oral Q & A on the sessions we had delivered and remembered most things without a prompt. Alison Spriggs then presented certificates to all the students as a mark of their achievement.

1st December 2015
Delivered a session to new group of 6 students at Cantraybridge College. Completed Initial assessments and photographic permission forms. Introduced the course and gave an overview of what we were hoping to achieve in the coming weeks and asked the group for any particular requests for what we would do. We started with a brief explanation of how the computer works and what each part is called. We then looked at Word and discussed the various components and what each one did. This was followed up with a quiz where the students were asked to name the parts of the computer and then to compile a sheet utilising the things they had learned such as changing text size and colour and inserting pictures from Clipart. It was as successful exercise.

8th December 2015
Delivered a session to a group of 4 at Cheshire House where we finished off the calendars of the clients that had not been at the last session. We expanded on the skills of using Clipart and the clients are now confident in using this which meant that several of them, due to a new found confidence, have changed their calendars and inserted new pictures as well as photographs. This has been a very worthwhile exercise as they have learned a number of new skills without realising that they were actually doing it. They are now competent in several areas of IT that they thought were out of their reach at the beginning.

Delivered a session to 6 students at Cantraybridge College and we looked at online safety. This covered downloading media, online shopping and social networking. We looked at anti-virus programmes and discussed what to do should their machine become infected. We did explain that no matter how good the anti-virus is, sometimes a virus will get through so how to identify possible entry points such as email or a social network message from someone they did not recognise. The group had obviously been speaking to the previous group and wanted to make calendars and as this is a good exercise that combines a number of programmes and tools we commenced with this and will continue at the next session.

15th December 2015
Delivered a session to a group of 4 at Cheshire House where we looked at online educational games and ran through some involving Maths and English. The clients seemed to enjoy this exercise and found that the element of learning was much better in a casual/relaxed atmosphere where they were gaining skills without realising it. We have decide that in the next session we will continue in this vein and hopefully be looking at slightly more advanced programmes.

Delivered a session to 6 students at Cantraybridge College and we continued with the calendar programme. They all designed their calendars so they had an idea of what they wanted to achieve and then found a template online to use. We explained how to cut and paste to get the desired template and then looked at inserting pictures and photographs to personalise their calendar. They found the exercise good on several points but mostly as they had a finished product that they could take away and use during the coming year.

15th January 2016
Delivered a session to 8 clients at Jobclub where we covered email and storing documents in the cloud system so that it is always available to the user regardless of where they are as long as they have access to email. We looked at Outlook’s One Drive and Google Drive and ran through the system and how to upload documents and then attach them to emails. We then demonstrated how achieve this and the group seemed quite confident about this as the system was one which they were unfamiliar with. We then looked at Microsoft applications and concentrated on Word where we looked at the tool bars and explained all the functions and their use in composing a document. The clients then composed some documents on their laptops and wrote some text and changed the font, pitch, colour and appearance amongst other things. They were also more confident about sending email and attachments for work related activities.

11th March 2016
Delivered a session to 6 clients at Spectrun Centre Jobclub on online job searching. This entailed registering with agencies online and included attaching a CV and letter to emails. As with the previous session we looked at the cloud drive and the advantage of using this to store CVs/letters for job applications. We also looked at how to advertise their skills on websites such as Gumtree and give them a better chance of finding work. Some of the group wanted to look at online shopping so we incorporated this into the exercise on online security. They all felt much more confident in their use of the internet and said that it had taken away some of the fears.


Cantraybridge College 16
Cheshire House 10
Job club 14
Shetland 2

Overall this project worked with 42 individuals. This support comprised of some group and 1-1 sessions with 11 individuals with complex support needs. We provided support in the very basics from turning the computer on and using a key board and mouse, to how to use social media and emails.

As the individuals had complex support needs and physical limitations the sessions were slow paced and we also trained the advocates that were present as it would be these people that would be helping the individuals once we were gone. The sessions were all in groups as it was easier to manage the support requirements and also because the individuals all knew each other which created a more supportive environment for learning.

We also worked with 16 individuals in a College for people with disabilities, though mostly learning difficulties. Prior to commencement we asked them what they wanted to get out of the sessions and many wanted to be able to search the net, use emails and download images etc. From the feedback we got we created training and information sessions for the individuals. The sessions were at their college and split into 3 small groups depending on the topic and facilitated by a couple of members of staff as well as a LCD staff member.

We also went to the Shetland Islands and worked with two individuals who were digitally and geographically isolated. For one of the individuals we have secured a lap top to increase his independence and another we have facilitated some help for him to use the internet and get an email account. This gentleman has very limited verbal communication and it is hoped that this will create a platform where he is more able to communicate with the wider world.

We also worked with 9 individuals with a more focussed employment aspect. These were individuals who were actively job searching but needed help with writing and storing their CV and sending it as an attachment as well as support filling in application forms. We met these individuals at Highland Council job clubs and also gave informal job search support.

Outputs and outcomes
In terms of outputs we delivered group sessions and 1-1s. We ran training sessions to 6 groups comprising of 24 each session was split over 3 days. We delivered 1-1 sessions to 11 individuals.

Some of the learning was through very small steps but feedback has been very good. We have asked all participants to complete a post training questionnaire and we are in the process of collating the responses.

Make sure that you ask what it is that participants want from the sessions you are delivering so that you can tailor the support.

Give yourself enough time to be able to make the training specific to the individuals’ requirements.

When working with individuals with significant support needs, make sure that the appropriate support is in place prior to the training. Both in terms of physical support and hardware and software. We were able to order computers that were adaptive to various disabilities which helped.

Lessons learned

Things that worked well:
Group sessions which provided a supportive environment for the learners. The group dynamics worked well.

Style of delivery.
We were slow paced and worked from the basics upwards. We asked what the individuals wanted before we started the training in order to tailor support.

Making a calendar.
Learners used clip art, word, downloaded images and a range of differing IT packages and skills which resulted in something tangible for the learners. They learnt a lot of different skills without necessarily knowing they did.

Things that we would do differently next time:
Make the training sessions more structured.
Expand what we delivered in more depth. As many of the 1-1s only happened once, we could only complete very specific tailored support and in many instances we could have gone into more depth on topics that came out as a result of the sessions.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: