Qualcomm Foundation and Qualcomm Incorporated and RNIB began a partnership together in 2008, and this relationship has grown and proven to be successful and long lasting.
Qualcomm has awarded us five extremely generous grants totalling just over £240,000. In addition, several employees took part in the London Marathon and have immersed themselves in other volunteering opportunities since the partnership began.
The grants have enabled us to:
- Produce 140 tactile images for use in curriculum based books for blind and partially sighted children. These images cover 20 subject areas, including Food Technology, Geography, ICT, Maths and Science.
- Publish 90 new Giant Print children's book titles for RNIB's National Library Service. RNIB have the largest collection of accessible books for blind and partially sighted people of all ages and we currently have over 2,000 Giant Print borrowers benefiting from this service.
- Recruit five unemployed blind or partially sighted people to our Trainee Grade Scheme. Over a period of 50 weeks, these great opportunities provide a vast range of benefits to the recipients, including paid employment for their CVs. The two current trainees work on our Hi Tech information line and Digital Accessibility Team responding to the ever growing number of enquiries about technology that can help visually impaired people in their day to day lives.
"It has been a real privilege to work with RNIB over a number of years and to bring to fruition multiple projects which are making a real difference to the lives of many blind and visually impaired people. RNIB has a great track record of applying technology in innovative ways to advantage others, and this resonates strongly with our own culture and values."
Yvonne Scorer, Senior Director of Human Resources, Qualcomm
Our Trainee Grade Scheme (TGS) offers paid work experience to unemployed blind and partially sighted people. The scheme is sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation. Ibrahim Gucukoglu is currently working with us under the scheme. This is his story.
"The scheme has helped me immensely and has shaped both my personality and self-confidence, giving me realistic expectations of what I can achieve in the world of work."
I am a totally blind 34 year old. I was educated at a specialist school for the blind in Worcestershire until I was 17, then went to Loughborough technical college where I studied Information Technology for 3 years.
Before starting on the Trainee Grade Scheme, I was a regular contributor to a number of IT/accessibility internet forums. It was through these forums that I was spotted by the RNIB and invited to write for their technology blog, recommending apps and services of use to blind and partially sighted people. RNIB subsequently encouraged me to apply for a TGS post within their technology team as this seemed an ideal match for my skills and passion.
What I have taken from the Trainee Grade Scheme
I love what I do and take immense pleasure and pride in introducing people to the wonderful benefits technology can offer and helping less tech savvy users to harness the full potential of their investment. I have been able to take advantage of the excellent in-house training opportunities that RNIB has to offer including time management and the train the trainer courses both of which will be very useful.
Where I see myself in the future
Now that my time on the TGS is coming to an end, I am applying for positions both within RNIB and externally, focusing on roles that put my skills to best use. I have already applied for several positions during the scheme including Technology for Life Advisor - a role that is similar to my current one - and Technology Officer, testing websites and delivering accessibility centric reports on their usability.
Thank you to Qualcomm for providing me with this opportunity.