A new project aimed at helping people with sight and hearing loss to get online has been launched.
Online Today, led by the RNIB and 37 other partners including Guide Dogs, Sense and Action on Hearing Loss, will help more than 10,000 adults with sensory loss to overcome the barriers they often face when it comes to benefiting from technology.
The UK-wide project is funded by a £5.8million Big Lottery Fund grant and reflects the impact that technology has on all our lives in the past decade.
Through a series of workshops, surgeries, one-to-one sessions and even home visits, Online Today will deliver training and advice on how to browse the internet and use smartphones, tablets and computers. More than 1,100 RNIB volunteers from throughout the UK will help deliver the training.
The project will cover practical topics to make sure that people with sensory loss can enjoy the same benefits of being online that many people take for granted; from ‘Skyping’ with friends and family on the other side of the world to streaming films and paying bills online.
Paralympian Kelly Gallagher, who has been partially sighted since birth, is supporting the Online Today project.
She said: “I can't imagine how different my life would be if it wasn't for technology and the internet. I haven’t any fears when it comes to racing down a ski slope, but without a smartphone I'd struggle to get on the right bus or train on my own or stay in touch with friends and family whilst I'm travelling.
“Nobody should miss out on all the great benefits that being online can offer just because they have a disability and that's why I'm supporting Online Today and encouraging people with sensory loss to find out how it can help them get online in no time.”
Neil Heslop, managing director of RNIB Solutions, said: “Technology has changed the way we live our lives, from how we communicate and socialise to the way we look for jobs and pay our bills.
“Online Today will deliver the skills, training and confidence that will make a huge difference to so many people’s lives and will make sure they’re not being excluded from today’s digital world.”
Online Today is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has sight or hearing loss.
Find out more about how Online Today may be able to help your patients or clients, or further details about volunteering.