The Nature of Disability

This week is Action for Brain Injury Week (#abiweek) which started us thinking about the nature of disability and how we often have learners who sign up to our courses telling us of their “primary” disability.

According to the charity Headway there is an estimated 500,000 people (aged 16 – 74) living with long term disabilities as a result of traumatic brain injury. Many of these people have had a stroke and are battling with both physical and cognitive issues.

From our point of view as we work with individuals we have to learn how they deal with these issues and how we can best adapt our training to their needs. It is impossible to gauge how they will react to learning or how much information they can absorb. As well as the physical considerations we need to take into consideration the possibility of impaired memory, the effects of prescribed drugs and sometimes also the ability to communicate.

man wearing headphones seated at a computer

UCanDoIT learner Steve using a screen reader to listen to his computer.

There are also the secondary effects from surgery or trauma. For instance Steve (pictured) was diagnosed with a brain tumour and during the operation to remove the tumour he lost his sight.  He has been registered blind ever since. We taught him to use a screen reader.

When Steve expressed a wish to return to work we introduced him to  more comprehensive software that would help him in the workplace.

We should always remember that every person with a disability is individual and the help and skills we can offer them should always reflect this.


About ucandoitsblog

UCanDoIT is a charity that teaches IT skills to people with disabilities on a one to one basis in their own homes.
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1 Response to The Nature of Disability

  1. I’m happy to know that this is out there. Short of my story is that I was hit by a truck while on my bike in August of 2000 shortly after a I moved to Seattle for graduate school. I suffered a severe brain injury, but I was near a great hospital, Harborview, and received top notch care.
    I have since recovered, mostly, but I still have problems, just not as severe as those I read about on blogs devoted to TBI.

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