I Need Help Using Technology

A few resources originally curated by Go-On Gold to help you get online, and adapt your computer, phone or other technology to suit your needs.

Go-On Gold

Go-On Gold

There are more than 5 million people over 65 in the UK who have never been online. For older people who didn't grow up with internet technology, the world wide web can be a daunting place.
But the internet can also bring tremendous benefits in terms of people using online services like shopping, banking and corresponding with friends via email or Skype video calls.
These resources will get you started on getting online and finding out where you can for help and support.

Help getting online

There are a number of self-help guides and other resources to support you getting online.

Free IT Support at Home for Disabled People: AbilityNet's IT Support at Home Service (ITCanHelp) has a network of disclosure checked volunteers who offer free computer assistance to disabled people in their own homes. You may have a problem with viruses, need some help installing broadband or be confused about updates or error messages. Freephone Helpline on 0800 269 545.  Be inspired by Belinda's story and how ITCanHelp improved her computer experience.

My Computer My Way: AbilityNet's My Computer My Way website provides step-by-step guidance on making your computer easier to use and overcoming obstacles. AbilityNet also produces great fact sheets and skill sheets to help disabled people use technology more effectively.

Independent Living have produced a series of webpages on Accessible Computing. There are sections on Text-to-Speech, Mice & Keyboards, Speech-to-Text and Setting Up Your Screen.

DeafAction delivers a range of services to the estimated 855,000 people in Scotland with sensory support needs, including those who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing.  Find out more here.

Deafblind UK Digital Inclusion Service: Helps Deafblind UK members to get online.  Peer support groups 'test drive' tablet devices, smart phones, identify ICT champion volunteers and offer advice on adaptive equipment for peoplewith dual sensory loss.  Find out more.

Fix The Web is a place where anyone can quickly report problems with accessing any website. Volunteers then take up these issues with the website’s owner, on your behalf.

TechDis: The Jisc TechDis Toolbox contains bite-size videos, short guides, animations and brief audio files to help you use technology more effectively.

RNIB Technology Support Squad (TSS) is a free national service that can set up, fix problems with and help you use your technology and gadgets.

Inside using technology links to beginners guides, using phones, technology news and using computers and tablet devices. Find out more.Smartphone accessibility: : A short video, with subtitles, explaining smartphone accessibility features as of February 2013.  Find out more about other RNIB videos on using technology with visual impairments.

Read and Write Gold: : Software for Mac and PC that reads aloud web pages, documents, PDFs, helps with spelling and more.  Visit the TextHelp website.

Speech Bubble: If you need help with spoken communication because of a disability, the Speech Bubble website can give you an idea of what's on offer, with details of nearly every communication aid available in the UK. From the Ace Centre Advisory Trust.

UK Online Centres are a national network of training centres to help people get online. This includes a new network of specialist disability centres. They also run "Online basics", a short, free course that will help you get to grips with the basics you need to get going online.

Going online: what's in it for me?

Once you have access to the internet, a wide range of useful information and services are available to you. Here are a few examples.

Disabled access reviews:  Euan’s guide, the disabled access review website, has now launched an interactive smartphone app for disabled people and their friends and family.  Available via iTunes and Google Play.

Help finding work: Shaw Trust believes everyone has the right to work and live independent lives. Find out more here.

Start your own business: Business Ability provide advice and resources for disabled people on becoming self-employed and starting your own business, including help with CV writing.  Find out more here.

State of the e-nation reports: AbilityNet review online consumer services and rate ow they serve disabled people.  Recent reports have covered travel and tourism, supermarket websites, fitness centres and price comparison sites.  Find out more here.

Sightline Directory is a service from the RNIB helping people find all kinds of local services for blind and visually impaired people.  Find out more here.

Technology aids for hearing impairment: RNID summarises communications options, including EmergencySMS, and the iPhone hearing check app.  Find out more here.

‘Technology For Life’: a video from the Royal National Institute of Blind People on the benefits of using computers, the internet, smartphones and more.

Access to elected office: Access to elected office for disabled people: resources for disabled people wanting to apply for elected political office including a funding scheme for support; an online training course; and information on paid political work experience. Find out more here.

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