In March 2017, Fujitsu Ireland proudly began a three-year partnership with the National Council of the Blind of Ireland (NCBI). NCBI is Ireland’s leading sight loss charity, celebrating 90 years of serving approximately 55,000 people living with sight loss. The charity provide supports which enable their service users to live independent and fulfilling lives.
The partnership focused on four key areas; Advocacy, Fundraising, Volunteering and Digital Inclusion. As part of the Digital Inclusion aspect, Fujitsu collaborated with NCBI on a technology-based project which leveraged Fujitsu’s primary skills for the benefit of NCBI and their service users.
Working with Kyran O’Mahoney, NCBI’s Chief Technology Officer, Fujitsu identified an opportunity to partner with NCBI in the development of the NCBI Labs Technology Hub, a new dedicated Rehabilitation Training Centre in Tallaght. “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 fulltime 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 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”.
The facility opened in March 2020 and has been made available to the 54,810 service users in Ireland. The team created a modern facility designed to facilitate the training of blind and visually impaired users in the use of technology both for employment and personal use purposes.
The monetary value of this Technology Project was €20,000. As part of this activity, Fujitsu provided the 17 Compact High-Performance PCs which were specially designed with the end-user in mind. The PC’s have Curved Ultra-Wide Quad High Definition 34-inch screens, which have a uniform focal view which improves ergonomics and increases comfort. The HD visuals allow for normal viewing or can be used in conjunction with Screen Magnification software which makes ICT more accessible for the user.
Fujitsu Ireland CEO Tony O’Malley “We are immensely proud of our work with the National Council of the Blind of Ireland, supporting their efforts to enable their service users to live independent and fulfilling lives.Technology is the great enabler, 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.”
The opening of this facility has resulted in a positive social impact for NCBI service users. It is a place where they can socially connect in person and virtually with other service users. They are empowered to develop their IT skills through training and hands-on use of computers, all the while being supported by two full time NCBI training staff. In person and virtual training is provided through Virtual peer group meetings and Technology Clubs. The suite of programmes provides practical and emotional support, rehabilitation and opening pathways to education, employment, and full participation in community and public life.
This offering to NCBI’s Service Users will always be available, there is no end date. The impact to the Service User and the wider community will be far reaching. This ensures that children and adults with a significant sight loss have the same opportunities, rights, and choices as anyone else in society.