Project information

Get to grips with The Basics

Being able to use a computer dramatically improves the quality of life of a visually impaired person. We will work with a computer recycling charity to provide clients with low cost computers and the training materials so that they can gain these benefits effectively within their limited budgets.

April 2011 - December 2012

Charity information

British Computer Association of the Blind

British Computer Association of the Blind logo
  • Need


    To be able to use a computer visually impaired people have to learn how to use both basic software and specialised access technology. Standard manuals and help files do not consider the special needs of visually impaired clients who do not use the mouse. Obtaining such specialised training either involves visiting a training centre or paying for expensive personal training. Visually impaired people are on low incomes and, many newly visually impaired elderly people do not wish to travel.


    We will produce a set of high quality teach yourself tutorials providing an introduction to the key software on a computer. The tutorials will be customised for a range of access technologies and provide step by step instructions. The tutorials will be provided in a variety of formats to suit the client’s needs and provide flexibility in how they are used. Working with a computer recycling charity we will provide an affordable package to allow clients to gain access to the digital society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Produce a set of high quality, sustainable, tutorials customised for 4 screen readers.


    » • Produce a generic template for the tutorials to facilitate customisation for specific access technologies and to allow updating as required.
    » • Produce customised versions of tutorials in various formats for the 2 most popular commercial screen readers in the UK and 2 free screen readers
    » • Produce CD-ROMs to allow easy installation of the tutorials onto client computers.

    Success will be...Have a set of 4 CD-ROMs customised for the JFW, Super Nova, System access and NVDA screen readers available for distribution by December 2011.

    Aim 2

    To distribute the tutorials as widely as possible.


    » • Advertise the tutorials and the availability of low cost computers on our web site and via appropriate magazines.
    » • Run 20 workshops to introduce clients to the benefits of computers and offer the tutorials to those attending.
    » • Demonstrate the tutorials at 3 major exhibitions.

    Success will be... By December 2012 have run 20 workshops, attended 3 exhibitions and distributed at least 200 tutorials. Be able to update the tutorials for 10 years.

    Aim 3

    Provide long term support to ensure clients are able to gain the full benefits of computers and IT


    » • Provide monthly telephone conference support calls hosted by a volunteer trainer.
    » • Provide remote access computer support from a volunteer trainer if telephone support is not adequate.
    » • Provide an email discussion list for mutual support.

    Success will be... Support mechanisms will be available by Dec 2010. With careful design of tutorials no more than 1 client per month will require additional support.

  • Impact


    Visually impaired clients will have been able to teach themselves successfully how to accomplish the key tasks they want to carry out on computers. Acquiring these skills, and with access to low cost computers, clients will make more use of computers or even start to use them for the first time. By gaining access to IT they will gain added independence and will improve the quality of their lives. We will seek telephone feedback from a sample of clients 6 months after they obtain tutorials.


    Tutorials not produced on time: We will divide the project into discrete stages, use a small group of experienced consultants and a trustee will monitor the project
    Tutorials not good enough: The design of the tutorials will be based on client feedback as we developed tutorials for, now redundant software.
    Providing support: Volunteers are available and funding is in place to cover minimal costs.
    Marketing: We are aware of appropriate magazines etc. and routinely attend exhibitions.


    We will meet any reporting requirements imposed by donors.
    We will routinely advise donors of any changes to the project, major achievements and provide a copy of our annual report which will include financial statements.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £48,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Consultancy fees for tutorials Fees for consultants to produce tutorials. Consultants work for a fixed
      £4,500 Consultant fee to produce gett A guide to explain how to use the tutorials.
      £4,000 Software & production Purchase of special software and production costs.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Bequest £5,000 Guaranteed
    Garfield Weston £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The tutorials will be available to any visually impaired person in the UK. The workshops will also be provided across the UK as will the exhibitions we attend. The recycled computers will be provided by a UK registered charity and will be delivered to clients homes.


    Any visually impaired person will be able to benefit. Our main target group will be newly visually impaired people, many of whom are elderly. By providing the combination of a low cost computer and teach yourself tutorials we will also appeal to many visually impaired people on low incomes.
    The tutorials may also encourage younger clients to consider further training in IT with a view to employment.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are a self-help group of visually impaired people who have been involved in supporting visually impaired people to use computers since 1969. We updated existing tutorials provided from America to suit the UK market and, based on client feedback evolved a successful format for producing teach yourself tutorials.

    We have a project in place to run workshops for clients in their local areas providing them with a fun introduction to computers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Derek Naysmith

    Derek will manage the project. He is a Trustee and has been involved in developing teach yourself tutorials for visually impaired people since 2000.

    Dr Derek Naysmith

    Mike has been involved in training visually impaired people to use computers for over 20 years and will produce one set of tutorials.

    Mr Andrew Hodgson

    Andrew is a Trustee and has been involved with providing telephone support to clients using previous tutorials. He will review the tutorials.