Technology opens up education opportunities for disabled people, especially now that specialist access features are being incorporated in many mainstream devices. Choosing what is right for you can be a daunting experience but RNIB can help you get to grips with the technology that will help you get the most out of your education.
We have a number of Beginner's guides covering keyboard skills, assistive technology, mobiles and smart phones, laptops, tablets, and more. These guides are a great place to start to give you an overview of what is out there. The guides are part of our Technology section which also includes the latest news, reviews and events from the world of technology.
It can be a challenge knowing where to start once you get your latest bit of technology home. Our Technology Support Squad is a team of hundreds of volunteers throughout the UK ready to help by phone or with a home visit.
You might also like to take a look at our Online shop which stocks a range of access technology as well as helpful devices such as talking clocks, lighting and low vision aids.
In further and higher education, funding the cost of specialist technology can often be met by the college, university or by the disabled students allowance (DSA). See our funding section for further information.
For many blind and partially sighted people, the personal computer, installed with appropriate access technology software, is an important information and communication tool. This is especially true in education settings, where the production of and access to written information is the primary activity.
Therefore access to a computer, coupled with a working knowledge of the appropriate access technology software, can play an important role in a blind or partially sighted person's ability to access learning.
In most cases a computer will need to be adapted using specialist screen reading or magnification software. Hardware devices that have been explicitly designed for blind or partially sighted people, such as video magnifiers or braille notetakers, can also be useful in a learning environment.
It is important to recognise however that access technology can never completely replace human support, and even where it is used, will only be effective in a learning environment if there is appropriate training and support available.
Unemployed adults seeking to learn IT skills to get into work may be eligible for a free place on Residential Training for Disabled Adults. For more information ring 01509 61 10 77 or email [email protected]
If you ring the RNIB helpline, they can put you through to your local RNIB/Action centre and you can speak to one of our technology specialists. The number to call is 0303 123 9999