Many families have already accessed our online sessions. You can read some of the feedback we’ve received and see the difference the iPad training has made by clicking the quotes below. 


Dylan

Dylan is two years old and lives with mum Kate and dad Craig in York. Dylan has Angelman’s syndrome, a rare genetic neurological condition that affects the nervous system.

Dylan’s condition affects all aspects of his life, as he has severe physical and learning disabilities. He cannot sit up or support himself, he struggles with sleep, his eyesight is affected and he has an aversion to eating. Hospital appointments take up huge chunks of daily life. Dylan has frequent appointments with a physiotherapist, a speech and language therapist, orthotics, his paediatrician, portage and his ophthalmologist. 

Kate and Craig found out about Family Fund through a Portage worker, a friend and via the internet. The family Portage worker suggested they apply for an iPad to help with Dylan’s development and help to keep him calm and focused. The family received a grant for the iPad and were able to take part in Family Fund’s digital skills training. 

Digital Skills Training

‘We had already started working on picture exchange communication with Dylan so the timing was perfect.'

The trainer called us, he was really flexible with timings and the process worked really well, Zoom was great.

'We could see his screen so that made it so easy.’

Kate is a teacher and uses iPads in school with pupils and although she knows the basics of iPads she had no idea just how much they can do. ‘I think it was so important we had this training during lockdown. The trainer went through all the points I put on the form and showed us accessibility for settings, he was so knowledgeable and we have it all set up now. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the training to other parents.'

Bella

Bella is 14 years old and lives with her mum Anne and sister Erin in East Sussex. Bella has hypermobility, which effects the movement of joints and means her hands can dislocate easily. She has poor muscle tone, a skin condition that causes her skin to ‘pop’ and is also autistic. Recently, Bella has been diagnosed with a visual impairment. Mum Anne tells us that at the moment, the cause isn’t clear.

Digital Skills Training

Anne first heard about Family Fund online and applied for an iPad. Through Bella’s grant for an iPad, she was offered the opportunity to take part in Family Fund’s digital skills training programme. Anne signed up the training but as it was during Coronavirus lockdown, she wasn’t sure if it would go ahead, but was delighted to receive an email from the trainer offering to do the training remotely.

Anne tells us, ‘The process was really easy and straightforward to sign up. The trainer emailed me followed up by a telephone call to ask what our specific needs were. He explained the process and sent me a link to use Zoom, which was so simple.’ Anne and Bella did the training together. 

How the training has made a difference

Due to Bella’s condition, she struggles with her hands and used voice recognition on her devices at her previous school. However when she moved to high school it never worked properly as the school didn’t bring in a team to set it up. Anne explains that the trainer showed her how to use voice recognition on the iPad, and that he was incredibly prepared and went through everything. He even showed Bella how to change the font and background as she finds it easier to read white text on a black background.

‘He brought his own iPad up on screen so we could see it and Bella did everything he did.'

Using the magnifier was a massive thing for her to be able to become independent.

Bella is very bright, she has a magnificent memory. Anne says that Bella has retained all of the iPad training so easily and has been using it ever since. The training has been invaluable for Anne and Bella. ‘It has enriched Bella’s life. She now has lots of new aids and learnt so many new things and we cannot thank Family Fund enough for this opportunity.’