Digitally savvy at the Firrhill Technology Hub

A new centre that will help disabled people to become more digitally savvy has opened in Edinburgh.

The Firrhill Technology Hub is a specialist service that improves access to computers and tablets for those who have a physical disability. Provided by The City of Edinburgh Council, it is the first of its kind to be offered by a Scottish local authority.

Opened by Health, Social Care and Housing Convener Councillor Ricky Henderson, the Hub, in the Firrhill Centre, will allow adults to try out equipment such as eye gaze technology and voice activated software.

Cllr Henderson was joined by Euan MacDonald, the founder of Euan’s Guide, an online service that publishes reviews of how physically accessible services and buildings across the UK are to disabled users.

Occupational therapists will either assess the needs of users in the Hub or in their home, before suggesting which equipment will be best suited to each individual.

The aim is to promote wellbeing by helping people to live independently in an increasing digital society by improving the opportunities they have to connect to others.

Cllr Henderson said: “I’m delighted to launch a service where disabled people are helped to use and benefit from a range of mobile computing devices. I am particularly pleased that Edinburgh is the first Scottish council to provide this type of service, and – in stark contrast to the hefty fees set by a national organisation - there is no charge for it.

“These technologies will help people to live independently and also better connect them with family, friends and professionals, thereby reducing the risk of isolation and promoting wellbeing.”

For more information about the Hub, contact Julie King on 0131 441 7176.

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