Lawyers Help Improve Contact For Disabled In Bradford

Computer Software To Bradford Charity

02.09.2009

Leading law firm Irwin Mitchell has donated the funds to purchase a state-of-the art piece of computer software to a Bradford charity that provides a free one-to-one support service to disabled people throughout the region.

CONTACT, based on Carlisle Road, is run by and for disabled people. Since 1999 the charity has offered support sessions and volunteer training for disabled people who want to talk about important personal issues other than those related specifically to their impairment.

The IT software called EasyProducer, from Dolphin, converts text documents into audio for use by blind and partially sighted people, and was presented recently to the charity’s Secretary Jill Grant by members of Irwin Mitchell’s General Accident team.

Designed to encourage independence and to help individuals carry out everyday tasks more easily, the software reads out written documents to the user. EasyProducer can convert everything from a tax return form to a Harry Potter novel and the charity’s course literature. It will benefit both CONTACT’s visually impaired volunteers and those who the organisation supports.

Sion Kingston, Partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, said: “As personal injury lawyers, we work on a daily basis with people who have been injured and face long term disability. Coping with a new disability is a bewildering experience and clients often need hands on support and guidance to get their lives back on track. CONTACT’s work within the community, helping people come to terms with disability is invaluable. They do an incredible job with very limited resource and funding so it’s fantastic for the firm to be able to help them in this way.

“CONTACT provides a unique service as the peer support they offer is from those that also have a disability. Their volunteers therefore have an exceptional understanding of the issues which come from being a disabled person in today’s society.

“The charity also helps to cross ethnic and cultural boundaries as its volunteers are from a variety of different backgrounds. They offer a phenomenal service and have managed to assist over 350 people in the last year alone. We are very proud to be helping them increase this figure.”

Paul Anderson, CONTACT’s Project Co-ordinator, said: “This piece of software is a fantastic addition to our facilities. As well as helping those with sight impairments become much more independent it will provide them with great enjoyment too. We are thrilled to be able to offer this new resource – it will have a hugely positive impact on the local Bradford people who use it.

“Our newly appointed blind Chairperson Linda Hanson will now be able to easily access all meeting minutes and other key documents. It will help her take a much more active role in the running of the charity which she is extremely excited and passionate about.”

For further information about CONTACT’s support services call 01274 494121.