RSI Awareness Day: Top tips for avoiding RSI in the workplace

Monday 29 February is International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day. The charity RSI Action estimates that Repetitive Strain Injury accounts for 3.2 million days lost, or an average of nearly 17 days absence from work for each person with the condition. AbilityNet's experts provide one-to-one assessments to people every day, many of them dealing with RSI. Here they offer their top tips for avoiding RSI in the workplace when using a computer.

How to sit comfortably when using a screen

Ten top tips for avoiding RSI at the computer

  • Rest your feet flat on the floor, or on a footrest
  • If your desk is curved, sit central to the curve
  • Place your screen at eye level and directly in front of you
  • Have your keyboard directly in front of you, with a space at the front of the desk to rest your wrists when you are not typing
  • Position your mouse as close to you as possible so you can use it with your wrist straight, avoiding awkward bending
  • If possible, use a compact keyboard, so the mouse can be brought in closer still
  • Touch type, to spread the load
  • Use predictive text, short cuts and auto-correct features, to reduce keystrokes
  • Slow your mouse down, to reduce muscle tension
  • Try dictation software 

Avoiding RSI when using laptops, tablets and smartphones

The growing number of people working on laptops and tablets from home, on trains, in cafés and cars clearly carries additional risk associated with poor posture.

The main problem with laptops is that the keyboard is attached to the screen, with the poor posture this creates potentially causing neck, back and arm problems. To reduce such risks when working with a laptop for sustained periods it's good practice to:

  • Use a separate keyboard, screen and mouse
  • Place your laptop on a raiser (to bring the screen closer towards eye-level)
  • If using neither an external keyboard or mouse (not recommended for long periods of work), make sure that the laptop is on a stable base and not your lap
  • Take regular short breaks to relieve upper body tension
  • Sit up straight with your back supported.

In addition, you can use use the My Computer My Way resource to learn more about the ways that you can adjust your computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone for more comfortable working.

Supporting employees with RSI

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide Reasonable Adjustments that help avloid RSI and other conditions, but many people aren't clear how what adjustments are required.

Our experts have created a 50 minute webinar full of information, advice and tips for those with RSI and their employers/ those who are supporting them. See this page on dealing with RSI in the workplace. You can also find a wide range of practical tips in our RSI factsheet which can be downloaded for free.

We also recommend that every employee uses Clear Talents On Demand - a free tool developed with ABilityNet that provides a detailed report about adjustmenst that will help employees be more productive when dealing with RSI.

smiling computer

Where to find more help

Need help adapting your equipment at home, work or college?

Call AbilityNet's free Helpline on: 0800 269 545.

Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution.

Get help at work

Every employer must provide Reasonable Adjustments to accommodate the needs of employees. This could mean support to use the tools we've suggested, or changes to your duties if RSI is affecting your work.

Use Clear Talents On Demand to let your manager know what would help you be more productive. It's free and confidential.

Get help at home

Our network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers can help people with disabilities deal with computer problems at home, either on the phone or in person.

Raynaud's: Top tips for working with cold fingers

Love your Gloves Awareness Month posterFebruary is statistically the coldest month of the year. It's also Raynaud's Awareness Month. Raynaud's Phenomenon affects up to 10 million people in the UK and sees the small blood vessels in the extremities constrict more readily, which can lead to fingers and toes feeling extremely cold and numb.

The phenomenon can be triggered by an alteration in temperature, emotional changes, stress, hormones or using vibrating tools, according to the Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association.

Cold hands and tingling fingers can make it impossible to use a standard computer keyboard, so as well as making sure a workspace is warm enough what other ways can technology help someone with Raynaud's?

Living with Raynaud's

Ellie, who has a version known as Secondary Raynaud's and Systemic Scleroderma (SSc) along with Ehlers Danlos Type III (unconnected), is learning to manage the condition.

“Since I can remember I’ve always had hands that felt a bit ‘dead’. I went to the doctors because I heard there were possible treatments for Raynaud’s," she says. 

“My employers have been a fantastic support and we have sat together and agreed adjustments to help me in my role - from little things, like ensuring I am seated away from draughts, to bigger things - like agreeing circumstances where I feel I need to work from home, where they provided me with equipment to do so."

Adjusting technology to help with Raynaud's

Mary Steiner, an AbilityNet assessor in the Midlands, feels the important thing is to keep the working environment warm, but there are some other adjustments that can be made to make life easier.

One thing to look at, she says, is using voice recognition software to dictate to the computer, and minimise the need to type or use the mouse. However not everyone will want to do this, or find it practical in their situation, and there are other options.

“I saw a client who worked all day in a call centre and she found that gripping the mouse made things worse because it further reduced the circulation to her fingers.

"She was having to stop working for 10 or 20 minutes each time her fingers went numb until the feeling returned, so we recommended a flatter, larger mouse which didn't require as much grip.

Tailored support for Raynauld's

“Another was a student whose fingers were sore and cracked because of Raynaud's, so I recommended a soft foam pen grip," says Mary.

The assessor says these adjustments won’t stop the symptoms happening, but it’s sometimes about using a "mixture of little things which each help to improve the situation", she explains.

Raynaud's: A quick guide to helpful tools

Voice recognition software can help people who are having difficulty using a keyboardAbilityNet assessors suggest the following could help those with the phenomenon work more easily - 

  • A heater
  • Heated mouse
  • Heated gloves
  • Fingerless gloves
  • Voice recognition software
  • Word prediction software
  • Light / soft touch keyboard
  • Ergonomic pens
  • Foam pen grips

Use My Computer My Way to learn more about the ways that you can adjust your computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone for more comfortable working.

Need help adapting your equipment at home, work or college?

Call AbilityNet's free Helpline on: 0800 269 545.

Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution.

Get help at work

Every employer must provide Reasonable Adjustments to accommodate the needs of employees. This could mean support to use the tools we've suggested, or changes to your duties when Raynaud's is affecting your work.

Use Clear Talents On Demand to let your manager know what would help you be more productive. It's free and confidential.

Get help at home

Our network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers can help people with disabilities deal with computer problems at home, either on the phone or in person.

* Ellie's quote has been edited from a longer case study on the Raynaud's and Schleroderma Association website here

Photo: Raynaud's Awareness Month poster by Raynaud's & Scleroderma Association

Top tips for supporting your employees with dyslexia

Dyslexia displayed as floating blocks - image copyright RiK57 Dreamstime.comDiscriminating against your employees with dyslexia has been against the law since the first disability discrimination legislation was introduced over 20 years ago. But it's in the news today as a result of Starbucks employee Meseret Kumulchew winning her disability discrimination case.

Starbucks did not make the workplace adjustments Ms Kumulchew needed in order for her to be able to do her job and now the coffee company may have to pay compensation. The ruling doesn’t set a new legal precedent, but it is an important reminder for all employers to check that you’re doing everything you can to support your employees with dyslexia.

The law says that you MUST make Reasonable Adjustments to ensure that you are not discriminating against people you employ. But what would be a reasonable way to accommodate someone with dyslexia in your workplace?  

Top tips for employees with dyslexia

According to the British Dyslexia Association around 1 in 10 people have dyslexia and require additional support with reading, writing and numbers. Fortunately there are a lot of simple, low-cost solutions that can be used to help your employees with dyslexia:

  • Changing the standard computer settings such as changing the colour background of Word documents to blue or yellow rather than white
  • Using text-to-speech software to have chunks of text read aloud
  • Add your top 50 or 100 most commonly misspelt words into Word’s autocorrect to instantly improve your writing
  • Installing a dyslexia-friendly font such as Dyslexie or Open-Dyslexic
  • Providing extra support with note-taking – a digital recording device
  • Ensuring important documents for meetings are distributed in advance and not just handed out in the meeting

More help from Abilitynet

Find out more about Reasonable Adjustments

Read our guide to Reasonable Adjustments for more information about how employers can meet their legal responsibilities.

Use our free tool to identify Reasonable Adjustments

AbilityNet has helped develop an online tool that can help managers identify the adjustments that will help their employees. Check it out now at www.cleartalentsondemand.com

Find out more about how technology can help people with dyslexia

Download our Dyslexia and Computing factsheet

Using technology for more inclusive recruitment

""Around 90% of jobs nowadays have some sort of technology involved. Your job might involve using a desktop computer or laptop, a telephone, cash register or some kind of handheld device such as a credit card machine. The possibilities, like the array of devices and software, are endless. Technology is a part of working life.

Reasonable adjustments in recruitment

When you find a job, most people expect the technology they need to be provided, with the relevant training, from day one. For disabled people the situation is often different. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments, which cover specialist software or equipment. Often, it is only after a disabled employee starts working that a workplace assessment is carried out.

Before someone starts work, the recruitment process offers an opportunity to find out what adjustments disabled employees need in order to do the job. It seems quite logical and sensible to ask before someone starts work, so that the right kit can be put in place. What most employers struggle with is how and when to ask the right questions and many avoid asking them altogether for fear of getting it wrong.

A well-being management solution

As a charity that exists to change the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education, we wanted to get better at asking that question and ensuring our workforce is diverse and inclusive. At the start of 2014 we started using an online wellbeing management solution, Clear Talents.

It’s a confidential, streamlined and easy to use process for our staff and all candidates applying for our vacancies to disclose any disabilities or needs they may have. Prior to the roll out of Clear Talents, our HR and Line Managers spent significant time encouraging employees to disclose their disability but had minimal success with an employee disclosure rate of less than 5%. Since then there has been a seismic shift in our entire approach to, and success in, diversity and wellbeing management.

This week, I was proud to have presented the key findings from our award-winning work with Clear Talents in front of the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP at the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) Awards Showcase event hosted by DWF.

The theme for the 2016 RIDI awards is aptly “collaboration, communication and confidence” – our partnership with Clear Talents has given us the confidence to be able to communicate better with disabled jobseekers and employees.

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...

 

Workstation adjustments for visually impaired people

Robin is Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNetTechnology is on hand to make working life easier for employees with visual impairments. Robin Christopherson looks at how employers can provide support.

We are spending more of our time in the workplace, at home and on the go using computers or mobile devices of some kind. For many of us, the daily routine starts with a compulsory check of our emails, the local weather report and a browse through our social media feeds on a smartphone or tablet, before we have even left the bedroom.

According to Ofcom, more than 80% of adults regularly go online on any device in any location and 62% of adults in the UK now own a smartphone. Being constantly connected to the internet means that we are spending more and more time using or interacting with a screen.

While there are many benefits to this connectivity, the pervasive use of screen-based technology could also be having a direct and negative impact on our visual health and wellbeing.

Helping employees with poor vision

Vision can be impaired in many ways, and by many different conditions, including the effects of ageing. The overuse of computer screens and long periods straining the eyes can cause a deterioration in vision, which is why many employers offer funding for eye sight tests and/or money towards glasses to their employees.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) estimates that there are currently nearly two million people in the UK living with sight loss. This figure also includes around 360,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted in the UK, who have severe and irreversible sight loss. Only onethird of people with a visual impairment are in employment – or, more shockingly, 67% are unemployed, seven times more than the general population.

Historically, people affected by sight loss were either not employed or were restricted to certain types of roles, either due to people’s assumptions about what they could and could not do, or down to specialist equipment not being readily available or affordable.

Bmobiles phones are a big part of the always on societyringing your own technology to work?

The good news is that technology is now on hand to make working life easier for people with visual impairments. Not only  are more and more employers open to employees bringing their own devices to work, but some have bring your own device (BYOD) policies and procedures in place.

BYOD has many benefits for employees, especially those with a disability. Previously, you might have been assigned a standard-issue work phone (usually a Blackberry) or laptop, but those devices might not be the best choice of device for your personal settings and requirements.

Some of the more recent advances in technology have made items such as flatscreens more affordable, which means that instead of spending thousands of pounds, an employer can purchase a 40-inch flatscreen for a staff member with a visual impairment for a few hundred pounds.

More affordable flatscreens

A larger screen enables users to magnify text to a greater size and, if it is being used in combination with smart optical character recognition scanning software, then changes can be made to text layout and colour contrasts at the same time.

There is also a vast array of specialist software and equipment options available for employees with significant visual impairments. As no two people or jobs are the same, conducting an individual workplace assessment is always advisable. However, for those employees who experience mild to moderate visual impairments, there are many solutions already built in to mainstream office software products.

Five top tips for people with visual impairments

Five lesser-known hacks for people with visual impairments:

1. The mouse pointer

On Windows and Mac OS X, it is possible to change the colour and size of the mouse pointer (arrow) and the shape of the mouse pointer. A wider range of sizes and colours and high-visibility effects can be achieved with specialist software, but increasing the size is free and built in.

2. Microsoft Office features

The Microsoft Office suite of programmes has inbuilt features that may help aid visibility. You can increase the size of the buttons in the toolbars and, in Word, you can make the document window white text on a blue background regardless of Windows’ colour scheme.

3. Built-in magnification and screen-reading

Windows and Mac OS X have built in magnification and screen-reading capabilities. In Windows they are called “Windows magnifier” and “narrator”. In Mac OS X, they are “Zoom” and “VoiceOver”. Activating these features enables text to be enlarged very considerably, meaning you do not see the whole screen at any time. The view-window follows as you move the mouse or the text cursor as you type, or have text or controls spoken out.

4. Finding the text cursor

Many people find it difficult to locate the blinking vertical bar that indicates where you are typing. You can increase the size and change the appearance of the cursor in Windows XP and above, although its size only increases in MS Word and a few other programmes. A program called Mouse&Caret Buddy can help you find your mouse cursor and text caret by showing pictures next to them.

5. Configuring your web browser

All new computers come with internet browsing software already installed. Many websites are visually complex and confusing, with multiple columns and text in a strange combination of colours. All of the most common browsers can force the text to be of the size and colour that you prefer, and the background and foreground colours of the page can be whatever combination you wish.

For more information, download a copy of AbilityNet’s factsheet, Vision Impairment and Computing

This blog by Robin Christopherson was originally publsihed on Personnel Today.

Leading ‘Accessible IT’ expert recognised in New Year Honours list

Graeme Whippy has been a longstanding advocate for accessible ITGraeme Whippy one of the UK’s leading IT experts on accessible technology in the workplace has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list.  With an impressive and broad-ranging career in IT, Graeme has worked for Lloyd’s Banking Group since 2001 and worked tirelessly to establish the IT Accessibility Centre of Excellence in 2005.

Graeme’s drive and determination to ensure that disabled colleagues had the right IT equipment in place put Lloyds Banking Group at the vanguard of workplace accessibility in the UK.

More recently, Graeme’s work on the Group Disability Programme at Lloyds included the set up of an innovative reasonable adjustment process for colleagues. Over 25,000 disabled employees have been supported by the workplace adjustment processes Graeme introduced.

For the last 4 years Graeme has also been the bank’s representative on the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge, which looks at how daily life can be improved for people with dementia.

Nigel Lewis, CEO of AbilityNet said:

“Everyone at AbilityNet is absolutely thrilled that Graeme Whippy has received an MBE for his services to disability and people with dementia. Our warmest congratulations to Graeme on his well-deserved honour.

“I have known and worked alongside Graeme for many years, he is a highly respected and trusted colleague and a fellow advocate for improving the lives of disabled people through IT.

“As 2016 gets underway, I am greatly encouraged by what Graeme’s award signifies. There is a growing realisation of how important it is to support disabled people into work and that accessible technology in the workplace is something that can enhance productivity and well-being.“

 

 

Robin Christopherson to judge global mobile tech awards

The Glomos are the highest profile global mobile industry awardsAbilityNet's Head of Digital Inclusion Robin Christopherson has been named on the judging panel for this year's Global Mobile Awards, or Glomos, the highest profile mobile Awards in the tech industry.

Robin will join a panel of independent experts to choose winners in eight categories, celebrating innovation and excellence in the use of mobile technology across business and government sectors. Winners will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

Robin is well known for his appearances at tech events across Europe and the US, where he speaks of the empowering potential of technology - especially mobile. And as a longstanding expert in accessible design it's no surprise that he will be judging the 'Best Use of Mobile for Accessibility & Inclusion'.

"This is a highly prestigious event that attracts entries from the biggest tech names on the planet and I'm honoured to be helping to pick the best of the best," said Robin. "The quality and ingenuity of the entries this year are quite breath-taking but you'll have to wait till MWC to find out who will walk away with a coveted Glomo this year."

DSAs and long term health conditions

Could you be eligible for extra help at Uni?For those with long-term health conditions, DSAs can be a lifeline, writes Jess, a sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) who blogs about her experiences. Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) is available for students with a range of debilitating medical problems, including diabetes, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, epilepsy and Crohn’s disease. But how can tech help deal with the symptoms of these kinds of long term health conditions?

How computers and IT can help

When using technology, those with CFS and fibromyalgia will particularly have to factor in their pain and fatigue levels. DSA could help by providing sufferers with ergonomic equipment to improve comfort and enable longer studying periods.

A broad range of equipment can be recommended under DSAs. As well as the more obvious items such as a pc and printer it may include things like a mini-fridge and whiteboard for your room, kitchen equipment and lightweight keyboard.

Money also may be provided to cover the delivery cost of internet shopping and travel or a parking permit - useful shortcuts for saving energy. In some circumstances DSAs will cover your taxi fare if your condition prevents you from using public transport.

Felixibility to accommodate change

Some long-term health conditions are volatile in nature and need flexible solutions. Luckily, DSA accommodates this.

Jess was grateful to find that as she became increasingly disabled, the amount of funding available for her increased up to the maximum allowance. She felt able to continue studying in the knowledge that her Disability Adviser could apply for additional funding when her condition deteriorated.

She says DSAs gave her the confidence to pursue her education despite her illness.

The equipment provided for Jess helped her enormously. She was given a lightweight laptop to allow her to work from home, with software that enables anything on screen to be read out- vital on fatigue-heavy days or light-sensitive days when the screen has to be so dark that it is almost illegible.

Her ergonomic fully-adjusted chair and laptop stand mean that working for extended time periods causes as little pain as possible and her printer allows her to avoid reading on a screen. Finally, her voice recorder means she can review lectures she was too tired to engage with at the time, or missed due to illness.

Nathan is a student at the University of West England studying a BA in Business Enterprise. He has cerebral palsy, but is able to run his own website business and meet class deadlines due to extra support from DSA. He is provided with twenty hours of library time per week with a helper, to whom he can dictate his work.

More information about DSAs

Any student who is eligible for Disabled Student Allowances can be given extra support to ensure that they succeeded in their higher education. For more details check out our guide to DSAs.

How AbilityNet can help

AbilityNet’s website includes a range of blog posts explaining tips for easier computing, aimed at those with long-term health conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia amongst others.

Elastic donation will help upgrade AbilityNet expert resources

Every year AbilityNet helps hundreds of thousands of disabled people use digital technology to achieve their goals at work, at home and in education. Although thousands of people use our face-to-face services and call our free telephone helpline, our web-based resources are the number one way for people to access our expert knowledge. The support of Elastic will help us upgrade our resources and reach more people.

AbilityNet received £16,750 from the sales of tickets to the Elastic(ON) conference in londonThe AbilityNet website offers free access to our expert resources and knowledge, through factsheets, blogs, free webinars and My Computer My Way - our guide to every accessibility feature built in to every mainstream desktop computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone. As a charity we need to continually invest in these expert resources and a recent donation from Elastic will help us reach even more people.

Elastic is a fast-growing global supplier of knowledge-based technologies, used by some of the biggest businesses in the world to power a huge range of services. From live trading data used by banks to the Guardian newspaper’s live content, their tools are designed to take data from any source and search, analyse and visualise it in real time. A key part of its success is that Elastic works with a huge community of developers, who actively help grow the open source tools at the core of the Elastic services.

Nurturing this community has been a vital part its success and the Elastic team recently hit the road for a whistlestop global tour to connect with users and share knowledge. Each of the Elastic{ON} Tour conferences featured a charity partner and AbilityNet was chosen as the beneficiary for the London event. AbilityNet’s Head of Marketing Mark Walker attended the London event to accept a cheque for £16,750:

“We want to say a big thank you to Elastic for choosing AbilityNet. Not only did we receive the ticket money paid by delegates but we also had a chance to tell people about our work, learn from the case studies and network with some amazing people.”

elastic is a global leader in real data analysis and visualisation“This support will help upgrade My Computer My Way, our interactive guide to the accessibility features built into every mainstream digital device. So many people can benefit from small changes and My Computer My Way is a unique source of practical tips and advice – whether they are changing the font size in a Windows PC, setting up speech recognition on their Android smartphone or changing the speed of their mouse on a Mac. “

“Elastic is at the cutting edge of knowledge solutions so this is a great fit with our desire to share the expertise that helps disabled people harness the power of technology."

Find out more

Find out how you can help disabled people benefit from technology.