RNIB leads drive to get visually impaired online

The Royal National Institute of Blind People launches scheme to get visually impaired online

01 May 2015 by Emily McCormick

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched a UK-wide scheme to encourage people with sensory loss access the internet. 

The Online Today project is being funded by a £5.8m grant from the Big Lottery Fund, and will provide everyday digital skills to an estimated 125,000 people with sight or hearing loss.

With the goal of helping adults who have sensory loss to overcome the barriers they often face when it comes to getting online and benefiting from technology, the scheme will be delivered by the RNIB with the support of 37 partners including Action for Blind People, Action on Hearing Loss, Guide Dogs and Sense. 

More than 1,000 volunteers will be recruited to deliver the training for the project in its first year, the RNIB confirmed.

Internet use in the UK is growing and in 2014 a total 76% of adults accessed the internet daily, compared to 38% the previous year. And while millions of people use the internet to complete everyday tasks, including shopping and banking, using this technology for people with sight and hearing loss can be challenging.

The scheme will deliver training and advice on using the internet, computers, smartphone and tablets through workshops, one-to-one sessions and home visits. 

Managing director of RNIB Solutions, Neil Heslop, said: “Technology has changed the way we live our lives, from how we communicate and socialize, to the way we look for jobs and pay our bills. For people who have sight or hearing loss, being able to get online can make a huge difference to being able to live independently but it can be quite daunting if you don’t know where to start. 

“Online Today will deliver the skills, training and confidence that will make a huge difference to so many people’s lives and will make sure they’re not being excluded from today’s digital world.” 

Online Today is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has sight or hearing loss, For more information, telephone the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999, or email them.  


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