Finalist category: IT Volunteer of the Year 2012
IT Volunteer of the Year, Winner, 2012
Building a network of volunteers to help disabled people use computers in their home
Alison Crerar was as an academic in Computing. Her research and teaching focused on human-computer interaction, with particular interest in usability and accessibility for users with a disability. From 1999 – 2013 Alison led the development of IT Can Help in Scotland – a network of volunteers offering free IT support to disabled people.
Starting as a lone volunteer, Alison built up six teams of volunteers covering most of the population of Scotland. As well as recruiting and mentoring Area Organisers she also provided training and support in assistive technology and took a hands-on role in visiting clients.
Nowadays Alison keeps her knowledge and skills up to date by acting as an expert witness in assistive technology. In this role she advises the Scottish Courts on appropriate hardware/software for the lifetime needs of individuals with challenging physical and cognitive impairments.