Pass IT On
Pass IT On is a charity which collects donated computer equipment, adapts it and gives it to people with disabilities living in the EH (Edinburgh and Lothians) postcode area. Pass IT On was founded in 2002 by Martha Lester-Cribb and Sandy Kerr after their long experience of working with disabled people showed that access to computers and technology is restricted for many. We also provide volunteering and work placement opportunities for people with additional needs, allowing trainees to learn skills and contribute to our work; collecting, building and adapting computers for clients. As Microsoft Registered Refurbishers, we are able to offer low-cost refurbished PCs for sale, with a complete system including Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft Office 2010 costing around £85.
Imagining life without access to a computer seems unthinkable for many people today. From banking to shopping to social networking or reading favourite newspapers online, much of modern life involves access to computers and the internet. We keep in touch with our friends and families, share experiences and photographs and make social plans online. Yet there are still huge gaps in access to computers, especially for housebound disabled people and others who are not able to take advantage of publicly available IT facilities. Essential adaptations such as special keyboards and switches are rarely if ever available in public locations, and are very expensive. Meanwhile, each year tonnes of perfectly useable computer equipment end up being discarded when businesses and individuals upgrade their machines.
The idea behind Pass IT On is a simple one - that a computer being discarded by one person can be rebuilt and adapted to act as a lifeline to someone excluded by disability or social isolation.
Pass IT On has spent over a decade working to make a difference in the lives of some of society’s most excluded and vulnerable people. We want technological inclusion to be a reality for every disabled person, not just those who can afford it. If a non-disabled person lacks computer access, they are still able to go to the bank, the library or to the shops in person. A disabled person very often may not have this option. With no statutory provision for computers and adaptations, we fill an essential gap through our provision of computers for disabled people. Our clients have the most to gain from technology, especially in the form of reducing social isolation and offering sources of empowerment, information, advice and support.
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