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Last Chance for Families of Children with Disability to Receive Free IT Equipment

  • Publish Date : 2010/11/15 - (Rev. 2013/08/01)
  • Author : iansyst Ltd

Synopsis:

Last chance for families with disabled children to receive free IT equipment as the UK government Home Access program comes to a close.

Main Document

Last chance for families with disabled children to receive free IT equipment as the government's Home Access program comes to a close. Technology specialist iansyst urges families with children with profound disabilities or special educational needs to apply for one of 5,000 remaining grants before 30th November 2010.

As the UK Government's Home Access program draws to a close at the end of November, iansyst Ltd (www.iansyst.co.uk) is urging families with disabled children to take advantage of one of the remaining 5,000 packages available to help their child access the computer and internet at home.

iansyst Ltd (www.iansyst.co.uk) is urging families with disabled children to take advantage of one of the remaining 5,000 Home Access packages with Assistive Technology as part of the government's Home Access program. The initiative, which is open for applications until 30th November 2010, is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to families of children with significant visual impairments, physical disabilities or learning difficulties. Families should call the helpline on 0333 200 1004 to find out if they are eligible to benefit from the initiative.

As the first national program to provide assistive technology (AT) in the home, the Home Access program has already provided hardware and software to over 7,000 disabled 7 to 14 year-olds from low-income families and marks a significant step towards achieving widespread digital inclusion. Supporting this vision, iansyst is delivering the free AT packages in partnership with education experts XMA.

Ash Merchant, XMA's Commercial Director says, "We are delighted to be delivering this program with iansyst and have already delivered thousands of computers to low-income families. Time is running out for families to benefit from these computer packages, which we are certain help the learning of children with SEN and disabilities. Families should contact the helpline this week to find out their eligibility and to realize the benefits of this program"

Janine King, Managing Director of iansyst Ltd, comments: "The Home Access program is playing a vital role in achieving equal access to ICT in the home for disabled children. We are urging families to contact the helpline to check if they are eligible for this free IT equipment which is already helping to transform the lives of so many children across the country."

The Home Access application process is designed to be as simple as possible. To apply, families just need to call the Home Access helpline 0333 200 1004. After passing a basic eligibility check, an application form is sent out. Once this is complete, applicants will then undergo an individual appraisal with a specialist evaluator to confirm their need for Assistive Technology to help them access computers and the internet from home. Applicants will hear whether or not they qualify for a package soon afterwards.

For further information about iansyst Ltd, please visit the web site at www.iansyst.co.uk or Tel: 01223 420101.

As part of the Home Access program, managed by Becta, XMA and iansyst will work with Vangent Ltd, an appointed Learner Evaluation Management Service (LEAMS) to evaluate the needs of children with profound difficulties from low-income families. Appropriate computing equipment and support services will then be provided to help enable internet access in their homes.

About iansyst Ltd: iansyst has a 27-year history of representing, publishing and distributing assistive technology solutions to the education, public and private sector, to help people with dyslexia and other disabilities. ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 Quality Mark conformant, iansyst delivers contracts to the highest industry standards on every scale, from individuals, schools and academies, to entire local authorities and the Government.

iansyst Ltd has an established customer base throughout the UK and Ireland, including: individuals, teachers and needs assessors from schools, colleges and universities. It also supplies to education and disability officers from local authorities, and HR and occupational health professionals from commercial and public organizations.

iansyst is a registered supplier under the 'One Stop Shop' Service Level Agreement to provide equipment and services under the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). This scheme is designed to help students in further and higher education.

About the Home Access program: The Home Access program offers computers, internet connectivity and specially adapted equipment, known as Assistive Technology, for children with severe disabilities or special educational needs.

If the applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria and the child they are applying for would benefit from the technologies such as those listed below, they could receive a personalized Assistive Technology package to help their child get online for learning at home:

Alternative equipment, such as switches, touch-screens, or an adapted mouse to access the computer/internet because of a physical or learning difficulty.

Symbols or pictures software to support writing, reading or curriculum access because of a severe learning or literacy difficulty.

'Cause and effect' software and associated access devices because of a severe learning difficulty.

Specialist hardware or software (or both) to access screen content because of a visual impairment.

Sound amplification hardware on the computer because of a hearing impairment.

For further information please visit: www.homeaccess.org.uk

Eligibility for Home Access packages with Assistive Technology is based on the national Free School Meal criteria, which means that applicants can apply if they qualify for Free School Meals or if they receive one of the qualifying benefits (income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and an income of less than £16,190, income-based Employment Support Allowance or the Guaranteed element of the Pension Credit).

Applicants will also have to meet the other eligibility criteria, namely:

They have a child in school years 3-9

They attend a state-maintained school in England or have their place paid for by an English LA or Department for Education

They have not received a computer under the Home Access program or Computers for Pupils in the past

Looked After Children are also eligible for a Home Access package with assistive technology and carers and foster parents are urged to apply.

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