DEAFinitely Digital Deaf Connections

Deaf Connections

Charity registered in Scotland SC003493

  • From 1st April 2015 to 1st March 2016
  • Award: £9,959 via Call 2

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Project plan

Project description

DEAFinitley Digital will support the Deaf Community to develop and advance their digital skills. We will have equipment available for the Deaf community to use during informal drop in sessions and will help the community to access and embrace modern digital tools. Our outcomes are improved access to free, accessible and culturally sensitive digital training and experience, increased confidence and reduced isolation for the Deaf community.

Evaluation

Updates

PROJECT UPDATES
June 2015
Our project has had an interesting time since it started. We have successfully installed our new Wireless Access Point, providing improved Wi-Fi access to our lounge/café area and purchased a Microsoft Multipoint server which allows many users to connect to one machine using a common set of applications. This allowed the server administrator to control the desktop of each user and reduces licence costs.

For user connection we decided to use 4 x HP 410 Thin Clients, these are all in one units, which professed to offer excellent multimedia performance. All went well for the server installation and the thin client seemed to work well right up until we tried to run a YouTube video at which point the picture stuttered and the sound became out of sync. YouTube and resources such as the BBC iPlayer are vital to our work because they allow us to access BSL translated material on demand, they are crucial to the work we do digitally.

I contacted HP support to see if I had done something wrong during the install that would impair performance and was surprised to get a response that said the 410 wouldn’t be able to cope with YouTube or the iPlayer, in fact it would struggle to run MS Office! Not exactly the excellent multimedia performance we had been led to expect and a response that does beg the question “What can it run?”.

HP recommended moving to the next model up, the 510. Our supplier was happy to do this but there would be a re-stock charge for the 410 units of £25 each. This seemed unfair given that the publicity for the 410 claimed it was built for exactly the kind of thing we hoped to use it for.
It was then that we discovered HP have a feedback section on their website. They claim this is read by the UK CEO, so we outlined the whole sorry tale and fair play to them within an hour they had offered to buy back the 410s at no cost to us. However all of this has taken time and we are now behind in our schedule.

During this time it was also decided that to relocate our classroom area to a bigger space. This area has recently had its cabling checked and is being decorated. The classroom area will be up and running in July.

We have started to publicise this project and with the introduction of the new Next Generation Text Relay, which provides text relay from PC, mobile and tablet, we anticipate that we will be very busy from when we open. Fingers crossed our next three months run smoother than the past three.
Our New WAP is in providing improved internet access to our lounge and cafe.

February 2016
Since our last update we have had considerable interest from the Deaf community. Our project worker Derek has been working with a number of individual Deaf people, some of whom simply want help with how to operate their new phone, others want a try of a tablet to see if it would suit their needs and one woman has come in asking for a course on how to use Excel!

Derek has also been working with our Glasgow Group, a group of women who visit Glasgow landmarks such as the People’s Palace, and then make a short film and blog about what they discovered. Derek has been assisting them with the multimedia element of that, the video camera, how to use the video clips they have made and then showing them how to upload to their blog.

Our new WAP is proving very popular, most of the regular visitors to the building make good use of it and our new multipoint server in the learning room, after some hideous teething troubles, is being well used.
So far so good.

EVALUATION

Outputs and outcomes
Overall this project supported the Deaf community to develop and advance their digital skills. Deaf Connections adapted the community café into a space where people could come and talk to a Deaf “Digital Challenge” trainer. Deaf people were able to use modern equipment during informal drop in sessions. The project reached out to our 500 members and encouraged them to think of Deaf Connections as a friendly, comfortable and informal place to learn.

In terms of outputs we delivered:
• Direct engagement with 150 people over 12 months
• 1:1 support with older Deaf people who felt particularly anxious learning new technologies
• 1:1 support with people with health conditions
• Small group support with people with an acquired hearing loss
• Presentations to OAP Deaf community to demo digital technologies available
• Support given to Deaf Connections staff and volunteers

In terms of outcomes for the people and groups we care about, this project has:
• Improved access to free, accessible and culturally accessible sensitive digital training and experiences for the deaf community
• Reduced barriers to learning and increased uptake of further training
• Enabled deaf people to be more confident using modern technologies
• Decreased isolation. The project helped the deaf community who felt adversely affected of the digital divide. Older and socially isolated people, those who could benefit most from improved digital skills, were able to increase confidence and knowledge.
• Supported deaf people with additional health issues to get online.

We know this because:
• Our OAP club members are now able to use social media/ ooVoo/ FaceTime to make calls to family and friends. We offer a private room for members to use these technologies
• Deaf people have used and continue to use computers at Deaf Connections
• Deaf people have expressed an interest in doing further training and more advanced learning with our Deaf Digital Challenge Officer. Courses requested include Photoshop
• We have seen an increase in Deaf people using and posting on Deaf Connections’ Facebook page
• Deaf Digital Challenge Officer assisted the Deaf Drama group to use multimedia in their recent performances and to promote their group online

LESSONS LEARNED

Things that worked well:
• Informal drop-in sessions giving opportunity for people to bring in own IT
• Promotion through large screens and live demonstrations
• Self-assessment forms and setting of own goals

Things that we would do differently next time:
• Increase hours of project worker to meet demand
• Increase diversity of equipment and use specialist technologies for people with additional needs

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: