Computers and Disability

Joint meeting with IET (Scotland South East)

Wednesday 8th February 2012, 7:00 pm.

Speakers: Martha Lester-Cribb of Pass IT On, Sandy Kerr of Pass IT On and UcanDoIT and Dr Alison Crerar of IT Can Help (ITCH).

Room 4.31 (fourth floor), University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB - map (click on Informatics Forum in the list of buildings).

Refreshments and networking from 6:30 pm.

This event is free of charge and open to all. No registration required - just turn up.


Pass IT On

Pass IT On was founded in 2002 by Martha Lester-Cribb and Sandy Kerr, who manage the charity. Pass IT On adapts donated computers for people with disabilities who live in the EH (Edinburgh) post code area. There is 1 full-time member of staff, a part-time administrator and a team of about 40 volunteers. Pass IT On also provide work placements for people who have extra support needs.

Martha will describe the motivation to set up Pass IT On and its development, and will go on to explain the impact its work can have on clients, work placement trainees and volunteers.


UCanDoIT is a UK-wide charity which exists to teach disabled people computer and internet skills. Tutors work 1:1 with students in their own homes on their own computers. In Scotland this service is currently available in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth. Sandy will explain how U Can Do IT works and how it dovetails with Pass IT On.

ITCH (IT Can Help)

IT Can Help is a UK-wide network of volunteers who provide free technical support to disabled people. This talk will describe how IT Can Help came into being, how it is organised and the service it provides. An overview of UK activities will be given before talking in more detail about the teams in Scotland. Examples will be given of clients who have benefited from the service, and aspirations for future development.

About the speakers

Martha Lester-Cribb, Pass IT On

Martha has worked as a carer for people with disabilities and with the University of Stirling researching the problems faced by people who have severe communication difficulties. She is currently Befriending Network Scotland’s Quality Officer where she has produced their Code of Practice and national quality award. In this role she is currently undertaking research into well-being as an Exchange Fellow with the School of Clinical Sciences & Community Health at the University of Edinburgh. She also finds time to jointly manage Pass IT On which she co-founded.


Sandy Kerr, Pass IT On and UCanDoIT

Sandy is one of the founders and managers of Pass IT On and also spends 1 day a week working for UcanDoIT coordinating the tutors in Scotland. Sandy has 35 years experience in IT and was previously the IT Coordinator for Leonard Cheshire Services Scotland. Prior to working in the voluntary sector, he was a computer operator and programmer for Ferranti.


Alison Crerar, ITCH (IT Can Help)

Dr Alison Crerar spent most of her career in the School of Computing at Napier University. A specialist in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), her research interests focussed on interface design and usability evaluation with an emphasis on applications for elderly and disabled users. Alison served for 12 years on the Committee of BCS Edinburgh Branch. In 1999 she took on the role of IT Can Help National Organiser in Scotland and is an active Member of the Board of Management. Alison is an Expert Witness in IT and disability.

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