Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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06.05.2021 weekly update

Good morning Friday! Can you believe it’s May already?

Here is your weekly update, if you were waiting for it! Enjoy!

Relay UK Review

I am an adult with hearing loss, I have hearing aids but find that telephone calls can be a trial. I came across Relay UK and decided to give it a go. Relay UK offers text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation services. A relay assistant in a call centre acts as an intermediary, enabling people with hearing loss or speech impairments to communicate with people over the telephone.

So, it allows people to use a phone, tablet, or computer to talk via an App to other people.  You talk or type to the assistant and then they type or talk to the second person. I used it on my Android Mobile Phone and found it very easy.

How it worked

I downloaded the program from the App store.  Once downloaded it very simple to get up and running. I opened the app and followed the on-screen instructions. By linking my phone in the App and confirming it with a quick call, I registered my phone and activated my account. I did not have to provide any personal details. 

The service is run by British Telecom and to make a call all you need to do is to enter the number you want to call, or simply link your contacts and select one from your address book. The service is free, all you pay is your normal call charges. The phone rings the assistant, and the screen shows you whether you are waiting to be connected, or if the other person has answered. Once you are connected you can either talk, or type using the on-screen keyboard. The assistant types and speaks back to you. I found this to be very clear, and instant. The conversation was only slowed by my typing skill. Thankfully the assistant will correct minor spelling mistakes for you.

I spoke with my daughter and rang a local shop, the assistant was able to advise the other person that this is UK Relay Call and what that means, saving me any embarrassment.

The fact I could hear what was said, as well as the text meant I was in control. If I had no hearing I could opt for just text, and then the call is silent and cannot be overheard by people, no more loud volume calls! I found you can easily save the text of a call so you can go back and check details like names and numbers.

Text Numbers

One great advantage of this new App is the Text Numbers. Once registered you can ask for a new 07777 number. This can replace your old number for Relay UK calls. Give out this number to friends and family and when they call it will always go via Relay UK, so you will always have an assistant involved. You do not have to, but it is something worth thinking about if your hearing is getting poor. Your old number will still work.

The Official Website

How to use Relay UK | Relay UK (bt.com)

29.04.2021 weekly update

Happy Friday, everyone!

Our weekly update is here, sit down and enjoy!

Bob, the Tech Angel

Bob is one of our brilliant volunteer Tech Angels! 

During lockdown, Bob has been using Team Viewer to provide remote support to work with people on the Tech to Community Connect project. 

Bob says

“I have some spare time and I wanted to give something back, being a Tech Angel is a rewarding way to volunteer.” 

The Tech to Community Connect project, helps people who are digitally excluded.  Digital exclusion has many different forms, for example, some of the people we work with do not have access to a device (so we lend them one), some of the people we work with need some help with their digital skills and/or confidence and we help them by matching them up with one of our volunteer Tech Angels. 

Our ‘matches’ then decide what their targets are, and the team work together on achieving these.  Some people want to learn how to shop online or to apply for a new bus pass, some people want to join a support group, book a GP appointment or use their computer for a medical appointment, others want to learn how to stream music and others just want to be able to google useful information.  

If you are interested in applying to become a Tech Angel volunteer, helping people in our community who are digitally excluded, please email getconnected@surreycoaltion.org.uk.  

We would love for you to join our team!

Caterham Salvation Army donated a tablet to us!

A huge THANK YOU to Caterham Salvation Army who have very kindly donated a tablet to the Tech to Community Connect service. 

Pete Dommett, Technology Lead, went to pick up the tablet today. 

Pete says:

we are doing all we can to get people who are digitally excluded online.  People who are disabled, living with a long term health condition and/or Carers are much more likely to be digitally excluded than others”

The Tech to Community Connect service provides support to people who are not able to get online or to use technology.  The service lends devices to those who need them, matches people up with a Tech Angel volunteer and provides an online social activity programme for everyone.

Ailsa Flinders from Salvation Army Caterham Caterham | The Salvation Army  said

“we are keen to support local efforts to get people online and this scheme has made a real impact in Surrey for those who have been isolated in lockdown”. 

Caterham Salvation Army is an active multi-generational Christian church, on Caterham Hill.  The Caterham Salvation Army team will be promoting the scheme across the district to all those who could benefit.

If you know someone who could benefit from this service, or for more information, please go to: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/technology-projects/ or email getconnected@surreycoalition.org.uk.     

Pete from Surrey Coalition and Ailsa from Salvation Army Caterham