To provide specially adapted computers, braillenote machines, and electric magnifiers to the 5000 blind and partially sighted children in the West Midlands to help them to do their homework and access internet resources as their friends and peers do.
It ran from 11:30 AM, 2 July 2010 to 11:30 AM, 2 July 2010
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1065745)
The majority of the 5000 visually impaired schoolchildren in Birmingham attend mainstream school and use expensive specially adapted computer equipment in the classroom provided by the local education authority. There is no provision to provide these children with the same equipment for them to use at home. Therefore, they have difficulty completing homework and fall behind in reading, writing and anything that involves having to see or produce written work. They lose confidence and are less likely to reach their potential. Additonally, many are unable to utilise the current internet based facilities utilised by their peers and friends. Since 2004 we have managed to raise enough funds to gradually supply 81 visually impaired schoolchildren with the equipment they need. This includes 55 computers with screen magnification/reader software, 13 Braille notes machines with palm pilots, 12 video magnifiers and a Perkins Brailler. After receiving the equipment we ask for feedback from the children - all of the children tell us they use their equipment at least 2 hours each day and in excess of 3 hours a day at weekends. All of the children reported accessing text they were unable to read before receiving the equipment and spending more time reading for leisure. Teachers reported that grades in the children‚Äôs homework improved significantly. The project is ongoing - we aim to provide equipment to at least 25 children each year, but this depends on the amount of money we have managed to raise. The set of equipment costs between ¬£2500 and ¬£10000 each depending on the needs of each child.
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