Finalist category: IT Volunteer of the Year Award
Cecil Taylor is a dedicated volunteer with ITCanHelp. Visiting disabled people in their homes, day centres or residential accommodation, he helps resolve computer problems and provides support and guidance to a wide range of people, including those who are visually impaired, have learning and physical disabilities, elderly and inform. He sees the whole person, and doesn’t just resolve their technical problems – he breaks down barriers and provides company and conversation with the people he visits.
One of Cecil’s key clients is J, who is autistic. Over a period of six weeks Cecil visited J twice a week, simply to familiarise him with his presence and seek his acceptance, something that wasn’t guaranteed. Going out of his way to learn about autism, and the specialist software that could be tailored to J’s requirements, Cecil introduced him to an iPad and began the process of emulating the constructs of J’s expressions. Cecil continues to visit J twice a week, and while the process has been far from smooth, he painstakingly makes progress and has enriched J’s world.
J is just one example of the number of people that Cecil has helped with the utilisation of IT, including people with Spina Bifida, visually impairment, and stroke victims. Cecil is proactive; he spontaneously makes contact with associations to promote ITCanHelp, reaches out to charities and voluntary groups to spread the word about their work, and has increased the number of enquiries that ITCanHelp receive. He has also raised over £700 for AbilityNet by climbing the highest mountain in Ireland in eight hours, to celebrate his 70th birthday.
Visit the ITCanHelp website page for more information.