“This project was successful beyond our expectations”. That was the view of Yad Voezer Day Centre, a BAME-led organisation in North London, which was given funding to pilot their Exceed-IT programme for adults with disabilities such as Down Syndrome, autism and blindness.
This was the first time the organisation had taught a dedicated course to help clients use computers for both personal and work use. From having little to no knowledge of IT, the individuals gained the skills to create their own Word documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. They also learnt vital skills such as how to send emails and use the internet safely. They were then given the opportunity to test their new skills in a real working environment, and 50% of the course participants now have permanent office employment as a result.
The key learning from the pilot project was how important it was to be flexible and adapt to clients’ needs, as they often needed extra time to become comfortable with what they were learning. The approach paid dividends, as the group showed endless determination and patience to gain the skills needed for fully participating in everyday life with friends, family and colleagues.
Yad Voezer Day Centre will now seek further funding to continue its Exceed-IT programme.