Nigel Carter, Online Today Volunteer, WalesI've been volunteering for Online Today since March 2016. At first it was a little daunting, as I didn’t know who, or how many people, would turn up and what people might ask me. Thankfully, all the people who have attended have been lovely, and so grateful for the help we provide.
One of the service-users is profoundly deaf and isn’t able to use a telephone to chat to family and she came to the drop-in to find out how technology might help her to better communicate with her family and friends. Together, we embarked on a journey which led us to set up her own Facebook account to enable her to find members of her family and connect with them. She's now able to message them, arrange get-togethers and video-chat. Something most of us would take for granted has had such a positive impact on this person’s life.
Eric McCrossan, Online Today Volunteer, Northern IrelandA year or so back, the Online Today scheme was advertised to all volunteers and it was immediately attractive to me. I have had a long-term interest in all things IT and the chance to use what scant skills I may have was something I had to try out. Over my time as an Online Today volunteer, I saw that people with hearing difficulties stand to gain a lot from using what modern computing has to offer.
One of the people I help is totally deaf. As his hearing loss was late onset, he didn’t know how to use British Sign Language. You can imagine how hard it would be to build a relationship when it’s so hard to communicate face to face. But IT can really help. For example, when making phone calls is difficult, texting or instant messaging can be a godsend.
Proficiency in using computers has become virtually an essential skill in the present day. My grandchildren can swipe with the best of them from age two. For clients of varying degrees of loss, IT is a benefit just as it is for the general public. So Online Today is a great project and I love being involved.