AbilityNet volunteers help people get the most from their tech at home
AbilityNet supports anyone living with any disability or impairment to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education.
Its vision is a digital world, accessible to all. It does this through a range of services, including its IT Support at Home project.
Digital Communities Wales helped AbilityNet to expand this project across Wales. Through DCW, 20 volunteers were recruited who were given training and support so they could help disabled and older people anywhere in Wales make the most of technology and their digital devices.
AbilityNet now has a network of trained volunteers in Wales who can offer free computer and technology support to older people and people with disabilities of any age. People may have a problem with a computer virus, need some help installing broadband or be confused about updates or error messages.
Thanks to their training, the digital volunteers have relevant IT skills and are able to help with most major computer systems, laptops, tablet devices and smartphones.
The volunteers can help in all sorts of ways, such as:
- Choosing equipment to meet particular needs; with suggestions on hardware, software and assistive technology
- Helping install and set up new hardware and software, configuring settings and adjusting accessibility options
- Diagnosing problems, malfunctions, viruses, error messages and explaining software update requests
- Improving confidence and ability with technology to ensure all the benefits of the digital world can be experienced
- Guidance on how to shop online, make video calls to friends, play music or games and use other entertainment services
The friendly volunteers are disclosure checked and can assist people by phone or over the internet, in both English and Welsh.
One client in Cardigan said, “Amazing service. Within just a few days of contacting AbilityNet my problem was solved by (a volunteer) from North Wales, who worked quickly and efficiently and was easy to understand (even by a technophobe 82-year-old).”
“Amazing service. Within just a few days of contacting AbilityNet my problem was solved by (a volunteer) from North Wales, who worked quickly and efficiently and was easy to understand (even by a technophobe 82-year-old).”
Beneficiary of the AbilityNet volunteering scheme