Microsoft backs Enable Ireland’s digital transformation

MIcrosoft, Enable Ireland
Dan Klein, Microsoft Ireland, with Christina McCarthy and Siobhan Long, Enable Ireland

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14 November 2016 | 0

Microsoft has donated a software package to Enable Ireland allowing the charity to move its operations to the cloud through Office 365 for its 1,200 staff and volunteers.

The announcement was made at the graduation ceremony for 17 students of the Foundations in Assistive Technology course, delivered by Enable Ireland and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

Microsoft has supported the Assistive Technology course for 15 years, hosting training sessions at the company’s campus in Sandyford, Co Dublin and hosting fundraisers including an annual funding drive and volunteering to decorate local facilities.

A total of 365 participants have graduated from this course since 2001, including people with disabilities and their families, employers, educators and carers. The course trains people in the use of Assistive Technologies including desktops, tablets, smart phones and smart home devices as well as leisure pursuits such as gaming, music and photography.

According to Enable Ireland, each graduate of the course reaches an average of 20 assistive technology users, so the cumulative number of users who have benefited from this training is now in the region of 7,300, opening up opportunities in education, employment, communication and independent living.

Siobhan Long, national manager, assistive technology training service, Enable Ireland, said: “Well done to the 17 fantastically talented individuals who have worked so hard and today graduated from the Foundations in Assistive Technology course. We recently conducted an assistive technology survey which showed that users overwhelming appreciated the difference that AT makes to their lives.

“Almost two thirds (61%) said they couldn’t manage without it. These graduates will go on to make a real difference to our community as they help others share in the benefit of this technology. We are appreciative of Microsoft’s support, which takes many forms including volunteering, skills sharing and philanthropic giving. Today the company is donating its Office 365 software to take our 1,200 employees and volunteers to the cloud. This will free our team up to access documents on the go, so that they can support our users from anywhere.”

Dan Klein, Microsoft Ireland, said: “At Microsoft we believe it is critically important that we think about making technology accessible to all. Our collaboration with Enable Ireland has given our team an important window of insight into people’s needs and prompted new innovation… [Enable Ireland] does critically important work in moving the focus from the disability to the person – not least through its Assistive Technology course.”

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