Blog Post

Everyone has potential

We get lots of calls about lots of different subjects here at AbilityNet.  However I took one last week that I thought might be worth highlighting.  A careers advisor in the south of England had a request from the local employment service regarding a client with severe dyslexia.

To receive government  benefits, you have to apply for a certain number of jobs in a week,  but this client has a real issue. Her literacy is so poor that she would need a lot of help and guidance in filling out forms and writing her CV.  I outlined some possible solutions to the careers advisor

As I was doing this I was suddenly struck with this feeling that the client was just a statistic.  I care about my clients but to some, she is probably just a number on a spreadsheet to tick off or to mark as being moved to another service.

Unless someone sits down with her and shows her how adaptive technology can help her put a CV together or have job adverts spoken out to her, she is going to be at a real disadvantage. If she doesn’t apply for jobs she won’t get benefit. If you don’t get benefits day to day life will become a real struggle for you.

I’m sure most people would agree with the need to apply for jobs  to still get benefit.   However if you  are dyslexic it puts you at a real disadvantage for applying for jobs because you find it difficult with both reading the description of the job role and then putting an application letter together. Without being able to use adaptive technology she might end up working as a cleaner or a waitress, where as she might be able to find an office based job if she could just use some AT to put a letter and CV together.

Dyslexia Action noted that research by KPMG finds that each illiterate pupil, by the age of 37, has cost the taxpayer an additional £44,797 - £ 53,098 when you add up extra costs relating to the education system, unemployment support and the criminal justice system.

However this client might have loads of POTENTIAL if only someone could sit down with her and show her that she can get stuff down on paper. She can organise her thoughts more effectively and like Boyzone star Shane Lynch she can actually use social media effectively.

However a lot of services are swamped with clients so trying to get ongoing 1-2-1 support is probably going to be really difficult, if not impossible.  Trying to support people with cognitive and physical disabilities does take time.

I have physical difficulties myself and had it not been for someone at my school providing me with a very old word processor device which allowed me to show that I had POTENTIAL I probably would have never gone to a comprehensive school, or college or university.   I certainly wouldn’t be working for a national charity such as AbilityNet.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of time and patience to see the potential of someone.

 

How can we help?

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

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
  • Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. 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 about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.
- See more at: https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/blog/surviving-stroke-and-learning-type-ag...

 

How can we help?

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

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
  • Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. 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 about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.
- See more at: https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/blog/surviving-stroke-and-learning-type-ag...

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

  • 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 about visual impairment useful.
  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
  • Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet IT Can Help volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.
- See more at: https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/blog/visual-impairment-and-computing-commo...

How can we help?

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

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
  • Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. 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 about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.
- See more at: https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/blog/surviving-stroke-and-learning-type-ag...

 

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