Digital volunteer

Two gentlemen laughing and talking

What is a digital volunteer?

As a digital volunteer, you may visit someone in their own home or at another mutually convenient location, and help them to engage with digital technology. You will use ‘off the shelf’ devices such as iPads, tablets or PCs to demonstrate to and train people who have sight and hearing impairments. You will be able to show them how these devices can be adapted to meet their needs. You will be able to demonstrate safe and effective use of the technology, thus reducing our members’ isolation and improving their quality of life.

This is a temporary role and we would usually expect you to run up to eight sessions with the person who you are helping.

What is a Deafblind Digital Support Ambassador (DDSA)?

We are always looking for members of Deafblind UK, who have already benefited from our digital support service, to on pass their newly found skills to others.

This would involve you showing other local Deafblind UK members how to use adaptive mobile and PC based technology, in a group setting.

What’s involved?

  • Demonstrating how mainstream devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PC’s, can be adapted to meet the accessibility needs of people who are deafblind, whilst supporting them to perform a range of digital activities across communication, leisure and access to information fields.
  • Introducing people to a defined set of specialist applications and websites, which will enable them to have a more independent lifestyle.
  • Encouraging people to express their interests and desires for using technology.
  • Helping people to identify suitable digital activities which can help them to achieve greater independence and social inclusion. For example, using communication tools such as skype, email or Facebook to communicate with their grandchildren.
  • Providing advice, information and guidance on new and suitable technologies and explain how these may be of benefit.
  • Teaching people how to use the devices correctly, to meet their needs.
  • Encouraging  people to use digital equipment independently and with confidence.
  • Teaching people to use potentially complex processes in an understandable, fun and accessible way.
  • Providing regular updates of your volunteering activities with your named Deafblind UK contact.
  • Building a relationship with the person who you are supporting.

How much commitment do I need to give?

This role requires regular commitment as agreed with the person who you are supporting. Typically, this can be on a weekly basis.

Am I suitable?

This role will suit people who...

  • Have a proven interest in technology, or the interest and motivation to learn more about “off the shelf” technology such as smartphones. tablets, e-readers, PC’s.
  • Have the interest to learn how such devices can be adapted to meet the accessible needs of people experiencing sensory loss.
  • Have the ability to communicate potentially complex processes in an easy to understand way with a confident manner (training will be provided).
  • Is willing to empathise with individuals who have differing levels of understanding and confidence in accessing technology.
  • Have the ability to adapt quickly to changing situations and are willing to encourage people to try out new technologies.
  • Are approachable and have a patient nature to support people with varying communication needs and experiences of technology.
  • Are able to confidently relay information in one on one situations.
  • Are willing to learn communication and guiding techniques to meet the needs of people who are deafblind (training will be provided).
  • Experience sensory loss themselves.
  • Are willing to adhere to the requirements of Deafblind UK’s volunteer policies and procedures including the Code of Conduct as outlined in the Volunteer Handbook.

How will I benefit?

  • This is an opportunity to meet like-minded people in your community
  • You will be part of a friendly, supportive and dedicated team
  • You will know you will be making a difference to real people’s lives
  • New communications skills
  • Establishing positive employability skills to help you in your career path

What support will I get?

We ensure that all volunteers who join our team are well equipped to undertake any tasks and will provide training and supervision throughout your journey with us. Any specific training will be outlined at the induction stage and then discussed at your reviews with your Deafblind UK named contact.

This role is purely voluntary, and this arrangement is not legally binding or an employment contract.

Click here to view our digital volunteering roles.