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Disabled people, carers, volunteers and staff at Lead Scotland have worked hard to create a course which we hope you will find easy to understand. It can be a bit frightening at first, with any new learning, but stick with it. We’ve tried to break it into small steps, and keep practising over and over until you get that sweet spot, where you can move onto the next step.
There’s no doubt about it, it opens your world up and you won’t feel that you’re being left behind. One learner said, ‘my advice would be to find the courage and support to do it. Keep going with it and don’t give up.’
So good luck, and we really hope this course is useful to you. And tell us how you get on.
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Welcome to Everyday computer skills: a beginner’s guide to computers, tablets, mobile phones and accessibility. This course is designed to offer people with varying abilities the opportunity to keep up with present-day trends. It will provide practical guidance for developing basic and essential digital skills in an accessible way. The course has been coproduced by Lead Scotland staff, volunteers, learners and befriendees in partnership with The Open University in Scotland.

Lead Scotland is a voluntary organisation set up to empower disabled adults and young people, and carers across Scotland to access learning opportunities. Our organisation understands the barriers to learning essential digital skills experienced by disabled people and carers. So, with funding from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations Digital Participation Charter, we have been able to partner with The Open University in Scotland to create this course.

We worked with 29 disabled people to coproduce the content of the course. All participants completed a questionnaire to identify digital skills they had or did not have. Each participant was asked to suggest and comment on specific content they would like to see in the course and express their interest in any further involvement with the course content. Nine of the participants were happy to be involved further. The outline of the course content was guided by the UK government’s ‘Essential digital skills framework’. Lead Scotland’s Learning Coordinator and four volunteers, three of whom have identified as disabled, each worked on specific sections to coproduce and complete the whole course.

Information about computer and digital technology is extensive, ever-growing and too vast to capture in the six lessons of this course. However, the course is intended to equip you with the basics and hopefully give you the skills and confidence to explore other freely available information. Once you gain confidence in accessing online resources, you will be able to fill any missing gaps that this course may have for you. There will be gaps, because computing devices come in all shapes and forms, and can function in different ways. As new technologies develop constantly, each of us is a learner, whether we are a beginner or specialist in any of the numerous computing fields.

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