Step five: technology for your studies

The latest technology equipment may offer much needed additional support to your studies. It could also bridge the gap of accessibility to learning should you be unable to, or not require support staff assistance.

Technology options in mainstream college may be limited due to funding restrictions and limits. There may also be equipment that has been used previously by other students which is then issued to you.

Here are some of the recommended contacts within the sector who provide the best technological support for people who are vision impaired:

Ability Net and Blind in Business – both offer advice on moving into education or work including assessments, equipment supply, ICT training and employment services.

Click here for information on Ability Net
Click here for information on Blind in Business

Vital Tech – This is a great place to find out about accessible and assistive technology for blind and partially sighted people. Check out the informative Vital Tech website here.

Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) – has a helpful section on the latest tech products and services for blind and partially sighted people in employment, education and engagement.

Queen Alexandra College (QAC) Sight Village – their annual event provides a great opportunity to learn more about a wide range of equipment all in one convenient location.

RNIB – provides all the latest information and updates on the technology that is available to support you throughout your studies.
The following links from RNIB provide much more detail about technology and assistive equipment to support you further.

Technology and independent learning
Technology resource hub: the latest facts, tips and guides

Helpful tips

Mainstream technology ownership. Assistive technology in mainstream colleges will almost always remain as owned by the college and not yourself. This means you may have to return the equipment at a certain point as well as be liable for its condition.

New technology adaptions. Stay posted for the latest technology developments across the sector and explore how they can best support you with your studies.

Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) consideration. Your EHCP may require that you have access to specific assistive technology so keep this in mind throughout your assessment and its review.

Attend QAC Sight Village events. As mentioned, QAC Sight Village is a great opportunity to try out assistive technology in person so you can find out exactly how suitable it is for you throughout your educational journey.

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