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Project information

IMPACT campaign

Assistive technology and specialist expertise can have a life changing impact for people with a visual impairment. This project will give our students access to the latest equipment and the best possible learning environment, opening the door for future independence and employment.

December 2017 - December 2018

Charity information: The Royal National College for the Blind

The Royal National College for the Blind logo
  • Need


    Of the 84,000 working age people living in the UK with sight loss, only 1 in 4 are in employment (27%). Their visual impairment can lead to additional barriers including loss of independence, social isolation, lack of access to technology and a limited jobs market. Because visual impairment is a low incidence disability which varies from person to person, many of those affected struggle to access the specialist support and equipment that can help them overcome these barriers.


    RNC's specialist education and training for people who are blind or partially sighted increases their skills, independence, confidence and employability. We provide the latest assistive technology, equipment and holistic support so our students learn at a level that will enable them to successfully compete for university places and jobs. They learn to utilise technology in all areas of their lives, from managing their medical needs to accessing academic studies and an active social life.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    For each teaching area to have sufficient high specification computers and assistive software


    » Procure 15 high specification computers with capacity to run the latest specialist assistive technologies for people who are visually impaired.

    What success will look like

    Each student can always access a computer running the specific software they require for each lesson.

    Aim 2

    Improve IT infrastructure to handle increased demand and reduce risk of malware attack and damage.


    » Install an Uninterruptible Power Supply to provide an emergency back-up power source.
    » Install reliable data backup solution technology software.

    What success will look like

    Each day will see uninterrupted usage and quick backup of work. The system will cope with power failure or surges. Risks of damage to hardware and virus attacks will be minimised.

  • Impact


    By addressing the future needs of our IT infrastructure we will minimise the potential risk to our systems, safeguard the in-house service to our students and address the increasing demand and reliance on IT. We will reduce the costs associated with repairing ageing equipment and systems, allowing for investment in a rolling replacement programme. This will protect our provision, enabling more students to gain the skills needed to achieve their education, employment and independence goals.


    This is a dry, practical subject and difficult to fundraise for. We address this by demonstrating the incredible impact computers and technology can have for someone with little or no sight. Technology, and access to the right support, can re-engage someone with the sighted world and transform their future prospects. Many of the supporters we will be approaching to pledge or donate via The Big Give are already engaged with the College and will understand the importance of the project.


    All donors will receive a quarterly update via email about the progress of the project, student stories and feedback such as exit surveys and job outcome rates. We will also post updates on our website. Donors will be given opportunities to visit the College and meet students they have supported.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,109

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      Amount Heading Description
      £13,842 Uninterruptible Power Supply ( Eaton 93PS 15kVA system, installation and delivery.
      £5,180 Data backup technology Veeam Backup Essentials Enterprise for VMware, education only.
      £3,733 Thin client computers 10 x computers - thin clients communicate with cloud server and do not have a hard drive.
      £2,354 Desktop personal computers 5 x high spec desktop computers
  • Background


    Hereford is a cathedral city in a very rural county. The city inhabits around 55,800 people and the county around 189,000. The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) has been in Hereford for the last 40 years of its 145 year history. RNC is a national centre of expertise and students come from all over the country to study with us. On leaving RNC many relocate to start employment or further/higher education, while others return to their home area to pursue their goals.


    The main beneficiaries are the blind and partially sighted students aged between 16 and 65, who attend RNC each year. They may have lost or be losing their sight due to injury or illness, or may have been blind from birth. With our help and support they will further their education or re-train with the aim of gaining employment, progressing to university or volunteering. Teaching, support and business staff will also benefit from the efficiencies of an improved infrastructure.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) is the UK’s leading specialist college of further education for people with a visual impairment. Since 1872, we have built on our expertise to offer a variety of services tailored to meet our students' needs. We work with over 50 local authorities each year and hold the only government contract for supporting people with sight loss in to employment. We are a unique national centre of expertise in this field with a proven track record of success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andy Powell

    Technical Support Manager. Andy will oversee the infrastructure work and manage the procurement process.

    Teresa Allen

    Teacher in Charge, IT Skills and Development. Teresa will ensure the latest assistive technology is available for students.

    Nicola Smith

    Director of Learning & Curriculum. Nicola manages the employment/transition team.

    Rachel Read

    Fundraising Officer. Rachel will ensure the fundraising targets are met and be the point of contact for donors/supporters.