3 December, 2021: Today, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) in partnership with Fujitsu Ireland, are proud to present the NCBI Labs Technology Hub, a dedicated Rehabilitation and Technology Training Centre in Tallaght for its service users nationally.
The Technology Hub is available to the almost 55,000 blind and visually impaired users nationally. Visitors can avail of training and support in the use of technology both for employment purposes and personal use. The Technology Hub is designed to be inclusive, modern and creates a unique environment to learn more about all technology. At the Hub they can develop their technology skills while being supported by NCBI training staff in a number of ways:
- Technology Training – Service Users can take courses on how to navigate the various operating systems, mobile phones and set up accessibility settings as well as learning applications like Excel and Word.
- Virtual – NCBI run numerous peer group meetings alongside Technology Clubs which enables service users to connect and participate in these directly from the Hub.
- Technical Assessments – Service Users can use this Technology Hub to assess themselves to establish where they can upskill.
- Events – Open Days are being held monthly, where Service Users pop into NCBI Labs technology Hub.
The Technology Hub is expertly equipped including High-Performance PCs which were specially designed with the end-user in mind. The computers have curved ultra-wide high definition 34-inch screens which have a uniform focal view which aids the user. The HD visuals allow for normal viewing or can be used in conjunction with Screen Magnification software which makes technology more accessible for the user.
The Hub is the culmination of a three-year partnership between the NCBI and Fujitsu Ireland, which focused on the four key areas of advocacy, fundraising, volunteering and digital inclusion.
Speaking about the partnership Kyran O’Mahoney, NCBI Chief Technology Officer said: “Technology is the single biggest enabler for those with sight loss and this facility allows NCBI to showcase the best technology available to our Service Users in a comfortable modern space. It’s a place where they can socially connect, both in-person and virtually, with other service users. They are empowered to develop their technology skills through training and hands on use of computers, all the while being supported by two full time NCBI training staff and, of course, Fujitsu volunteers. Technology provides the same level of independence to someone with sight loss and our mission is to ensure that children and adults with a significant sight loss have the same opportunities, rights, and choices as anyone else in society. I would like to thank Fujitsu and their team for their continued support and donation of this state of the art technology to make this technology hub a reality.”
Fujitsu Ireland CEO Tony O’Malley continued: “We are immensely proud to continue our work with NCBI, supporting their efforts to enable their service users to live independent and fulfilling lives. Technology is the great equaliser, and the suite of technology provided helps to give practical and emotional support to those who are blind or vision impaired access opportunities in education, employment, and full participation in community and public life.”