Technology isn't just for Christmas: 6 ways to get help using your tech

It's Boxing day. The turkey has been eaten. There’s wrapping paper everywhere and everyone is happy with their presents. But you are not.Father Christmas. Photo from Flickr:

Father Christmas (and his many helpers) have bought you a nice shiny piece of technology.  Which is currently still in a box because you can’t work out what to do with it. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get the device out of the box, never mind knowing what to do with it.

Tip no. 1, the first thing to do - to use an oft-used phrase - is "Keep calm and call an ITCanHelp Volunteer".

We have over 200 volunteers who are keen to come out and help.  Thankfully unlike Santa's little helpers our volunteers aren't based in the North Pole but local to you. Best thing is that the service is totally FREE. After all you've probably spent enough money already this Christmas. 

The volunteers would be happy with a cup of coffee and a biscuit! If you are interested in finding out bit more information about our volunteers why don't you have a look at our video?

What sort of things can they help with? Well anything really from connecting your new tablet to the wifi network or doing some basic tuition on your smartphone. They can also help with putting ink cartridges into your new printer.  

Perhaps you need a bit more general tech training? There’s so much you can do with technology. On the Advice and Information line we have some great organisations that we refer people to all the time. Some of them will offer training in a local centre and some will offer 1-2-1 training and support in your home.

In no particular order here they are:

2. UCANDOIT- This well-established charity offers 1-2-1 training for disabled clients in their own homes.  There are 10 sessions, so by the end of the course students will have managed to get a really good understanding of basic tasks that can be done on their computer. This on is very popular and always has a waiting list.

3. Digital Unite has got some really useful online guides ranging from how to create a document in Word, right through to how to bank online safely.

4 offer lots of free online courses.

5. Local libraries are a great resource for training. They often have computers that you can use and  you can often get some basic trainig on how to use computer. Your local council should be able to give you more information.

6. There are always courses at local colleges where you can meet new people and learn how to use a computer. If you are on benefits you might be able to get the course at a cheaper rate.

Everyone at AbilityNet hopes you have a merry Christmas and technology-filled 2017! 

How can we help?

AbilityNet provides a range of services to help disabled people and older people.

  • Call our free Helpline on 0800 269 545 and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will offer one-to-one help.
  • If you are in work your employer has a responsibility to make Reasonable Adjustments which include helping you with invisible illnesses. Find out more about how we help disabled in the workplace.
  • Arrange a home visit from one of our amazing AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
  • We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets talking about computers and vision impairment useful
  • My Computer My Way is our free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.