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Project information

Beacon Centre IT Training Project

Beacon Centre for the Blind wants to deliver IT training to the visually-impaired, and those in the West Midlands with other disabilities so that they can enjoy the same advantages as sighted people. Anyone in today's society who does not have basic IT skills is at a serious disadvantage.

September 2011 - September 2012

Charity information: Beacon Centre for the Blind

Beacon Centre for the Blind logo
  • Need


    Increased opportunities of finding employment.
    Opportunities to resolve practical issues.
    Access to recreation.
    Combatting social isolation
    Access to information and education.


    By providing IT training to all abilities so that visually-impaired people can enjoy the same opportunities, both practical and educational, as sighted people.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increased opportunities of finding employment.


    » Provide IT training in word, excel, powerpoint, publisher and outlook using specialist training in software for the visually impaired.
    » Enrol on Beacon Centre's Employment Project which helps visually impaired people to gain work experience and to enter the job market .
    » By teaching IT skills to support a business venture (eg production of greetings cards)

    What success will look like

    Evidence of the numbers leaving our employment project for paid employment.

    Aim 2

    To enable full use of all the opportunities available to resolve practical issues.


    » By introducing them to the internet so that they can shop on line, access consumer savings etc.
    » By showing where to find information online to help with practical tasks.

    What success will look like

    Quantifying issues addressed through feedback, surveys and out home visiting service.

    Aim 3

    To combat social isolation.


    » By teaching them how to communicate with family and friends by email.
    » By teaching them to use social networking sites safely.
    » By teaching them how to use the internet to access groups and organisations that offer opportunities to get together with like minded people.

    What success will look like

    Decrease in numbers needing medical intervention for depression assessed through local health service and Beacon Centre surveys.

    Aim 4

    To enhance recreation.


    » By teaching how IT can support a hobby (eg editing a CD music complication to support a Karaoke hobby)
    » By showing how to access games, puzzles, brainteasers etc using IT and the internet.
    » By showing how to use the internet to gain information about subjects of interest.

    What success will look like

    Evidence of numbers accessing social interaction in the community and using IT to communicate with family and friends.

    Aim 5

    To enable access to information and education.


    » Demonstrate how the internet can provide information about issues that affect daily living. (eg accessing government department sites)
    » Helping to access online courses either with a view to career development or for personal development.
    » By demonstrating how to access world news online.
    » Teaching numeracy and literacy to those with learning difficulties through computer games.

    What success will look like

    The numbers attaining qualifications through accredited online courses or employment after self education in appropriate skills and information.

  • Impact


    Improved integration of visually impaired people in the local community and a better quality of life.
    An end to social isolation resulting in less burden on local health services.
    Increased employment opportunities for visually impaired people.
    Success will be demonstrated through surveys, feedback and figures provided by ourselves and other agencies.


    We are aware that if information about the service and its benefits does not reach the local visually impaired community there will be a drop in numbers using the service. We are actively marketing the service to our service users and to other agencies and training organisations.


    Donors will receive a report at the end of the first year on numbers using the service and successes achieved. It is hoped that the service will be ongoing and eventually-self funding.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,179

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £29,929 Salaries 2 x IT trainers for a total of 43 hours per week
      £3,000 Technical support Cost of technical support for a year
      £6,250 Licences 15 Zoomtext, Supernova and Jaws licences

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    29th May 1961 Charitable Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    For over 130 years Beacon Centre has provided a wide range of services including residential accommodation, day care and community services to people of all ages living with sight loss in The Black Country and Staffordshire.


    Most of our service users come from the West Midlands connurbation although some are from more rural areas. Both Sandwell and Wolverhampton fall within the 50 most deprived areas in the Index of Multiple Deprivation. We are marketing the service widely in the local community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Beacon Centre is the largest facility of its kind in the UK and the only facility in the West Midland area.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    David Hall

    This service has been pilotted since April 2010 and David Hall was appointed as principal IT Trainer .