From education to employment

Part Two of Chris Garbett on IT and Opportunity Through Knowledge

So many of us are plagued by blatant misuse of the incredible resource that the internet provides, be it in the form of blanket emails on car payment plans for a car that you do not have, various herbal “supplements” or the offer from a dubious stranger in another country of several million pounds for no apparent reason (but only if you include your bank details!).

Be that as it may, the internet remains a growing resource for knowledge and awareness. In the second instalment of his two ““ part series Chris Garbett, Marketing and Development Manager for Charity U Can Do IT, writes for FE News on the example of his charity and the trail that can be blazed in knowledge and training.

Before UCanDoIT

Before, the U Can Do IT course officially starts, an assessment is held, this is to check whether the computer and the internet connection works but more importantly, what the student priorities and needs are. An approach worthy of consideration!

The importance of the internet is the choices it gives you. If you need to know the difference between one form of treatment and another or, if you having to make big decisions and need to look at things from all angles this is where the internet comes into its own. Everything you need to know is out there somewhere, all that is needed is the know how to get to it.

E groups are really popular, being able to discuss your illness and its consequences with someone in the same situation can be very liberating. And of course, the internet can be just plain fun! Meeting new friends, playing chess or scrabble with someone on the other side of the world. Checking out what’s on TV or listening to the latest track from your favourite band. Although the basic tenet of the U Can Do IT course is emailing and the internet, this encompasses a multitude of possibilities.

Short and Tailored Courses

Their courses are fairly short, 10 lessons which by any standards is not a huge commitment, but the results and responses have been amazing. Sam a blind mother was able to help her sighted son with his homework for the first time ever. Neeraj, who suffered a spinal injury at work which left him totally paralysed, is now able with the help of voice recognition; take care of his own finances and general control of his own affairs. Many have regained contact with friends and family aboard, others joined whole new communities.

U Can Do IT understands and fully appreciates that they are only the beginning, and although a big step for some learners, they are really only a stepping stone for others. In appreciation of this, students can opt for the “AQA” qualifications. These are nationally recognised qualifications; a great indicator to any future employer, and the foundation for future “distance learning”.

A Byword

Distance learning is the new byword, learning on-line, another internet revolution. Qualifications are so important in today’s society, and without them it’s almost impossible to be taken seriously in the work place or anywhere else come to that. Now the opportunity is there to take a qualification without leaving your home. No access or transport issues, just the learner, the computer and the willingness to learn.

The whole philosophy of U Can Do IT is that they provide all that is necessary to put disabled persons on the same footing as their able bodied compatriots when it comes to computer technology. Their latest initiative is the provision of cheap reconditioned computers, so that financial barriers may also be addressed. An issue which is extremely important. Without the use of computers disabled persons are trapped in a continued cycle of dependency, totally reliant on able bodied support. Information is power and also information is empowering.

The ability to take control of some areas of ones life, to have some privacy and to make ones own objective decisions, to go outside of the confines of your room, to join what is undoubtedly the biggest communications revolution of the 21st century is easy, all you need to know is how. And if you are lucky enough to live in London, there are people out there ready and willing to show you.

Read the first part of Chris Garbett on the internet and opportunity right here at FE News!

To find out more about U Can Do IT, please click here.

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