1. Consider user needs
Conduct research with people who are visually impaired to better understand if this is a service that is in demand.
Think about the fact that some might not be able to access the internet. Look at the more holistic needs of the user, rather than just the fact that they are visually impaired.
Build user statements and conduct interviews to further understand the needs of the user and flesh out a plan for your service.
2. Build training programmes
Apply for funding if needed, and work with a digital agency.
Ensure that someone on your team who is involved in the implementation of this service is visually impaired, whether that be the digital agent or the coordinator.
Understand the basics of why people might need the internet, to inform what is on your training programme.
3. Find participants
Access databases to start contacting and recruiting participants for your programme.
Utilise your networks, including Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, charities/organisations working with people with sight loss.
People with a visual impairment may lack confidence in interacting with the internet and might not see how the internet could help them as a person with a visual impairment. You will need to allocate time to discuss this with potential participants.
4. Find software
Order equipment and deliver it to your service users.
Give users a call to set up the tech with them and give a second call prior to starting the programme so they feel prepared.
Ensure you put in a loan agreement and data sharing agreement.
Use tech that your organisation has good knowledge of and has demonstrated experience of working well for people with a visual impairment.
5. Conduct the training
Have a lead trainer calling the user for a one-on-one session. Allocate a separate team member who will be responsible for resolving tech issues.
If a technical issue crops up during the training session, move onto a different subject and ensure the team leader for tech issues calls the user after the session to resolve the issue.
Be agile: if you feel someone is not ready for the next stage or they are further along the project than you think, adapt your approach.
Repetition is very important for users who are trying something new, so don’t be afraid to cover similar topics in several sessions.
6. Continue your support
Provide training to volunteers who can be a buddy and provide support to the user after they have completed the programme.
Offer peer support by providing sessions where new and more experienced individuals on the programme can meet.
Get feedback at the start, middle, and end of the training to iterate feedback into your programme.
Consider tailoring the timeline of the programme to best suit each individual and meet them where they are in their learning journey.
Many thanks to Galloway's Society for the Blind for contributing this recipe.
This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.
That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Galloway's Society for the Blind and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.
Do you have thoughts on this recipe? We would love to hear from you.