"I love using new technology, it gives me access to online books to read. I can play games and communicate with others."

ConnectAbility is our three year fundraising appeal to raise £250,000 for life-changing assistive technology that helps disabled people live more independently.

  • £195 helps buy an iPad, so Hannah can create masterpieces with the art app.
  • £90 helps buy an eye tracker, so Steven can call home using Skype.
  • £50 helps pay for training, to help disabled men and women use the equipment.
  • £20 helps buy much-needed materials, such as ink for the 3D printers.

The story so far

We launched the ConnectAbility appeal in 2014 to raise funds for assistive technology, such as iPads and eye trackers, to increase the independence of the people we support. We have almost reached our target; benefiting service users from right across the country. With your help we can transform the lives of even more disabled people.

Life without technology would just be so boring!

William, Ernest Kleinwort Court

Donate now

Donate via JustGiving

Donations by text:

  • Text CONE7010 to 70070 to donate £10
  • Text CONE705 to 70070 to donate £5

Get Involved

There are many ways that you can help.

If you would like to promote ConnectAbility and improve communication for many of the men and women we support, or would like to complete a challenge in aid of our appeal please email fundraising@thedtgroup.org or call our friendly team on 01444 237286.

Support us and you'll be in great company.

My Kindle is amazing, it has opened new doors and given me independence, and a new family!
Jackie, Gregory Court

What’s next?

Many of the people we support at The Disabilities Trust have had their lives transformed thanks to assistive technology. They are now able to live more independent lives and maximise their ability to make choices and communicate with others. The next stage of the appeal sees the opening of our new 'hubs'. Our first ConnectAbility Hub, located in Eastbourne, East Sussex, is now open. These facilities are available for disabled people to try out new technology, ask questions and learn how it all works.

Many people take technology for granted:

  • How many times have you reached for your phone today, to call someone or send a text?
  • How many emails have you sent from your laptop?
  • How many purchases or internet searches have you made from your tablet?
  • How many times have you simply spoken to someone today?

I love using new technology. It is an absolute Godsend.
Sarah, Shinewater Court

Steven's story

Steven has lived at Victoria House, our disability service in Hull, for the last nine years and has cerebral palsy. His condition means he has very limited control of his body movements and posture as well little ability to communicate. Steven is very close to his Mum, but she lives on the other side of the country and can only make the 270 mile round trip every other month. This has been very difficult for Steven and he feels quite lonely being apart from his family.

Thanks to #ConnectAbility an eye reader has been purchased for Victoria House and installed in their training suite. This means there is now a computer available that can be operated by tracking the user’s eye movements.

Steven uses this new technology to good advantage and now has the wonderful opportunity of contacting his Mum on a regular basis. He has set up a Skype account and sees his Mum at least twice a week. Steven said this has made a huge difference as before he could only speak to her by phone in between visits. He said “It is simply the best thing that has ever been invented!” This is just one example of how #ConnectAbility has made a real difference to service users' lives.

Service user using assistive technology

I had previously used the switches to work the computer but it was slow, the eye tracker will make things much quicker
Mark, Shinewater Court

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology products help disabled users to become more independent. Smart phones and tablets provide a relatively cost effective way to assist in everyday tasks; others are more expensive, such as eye gaze computer technology which enables people to control a computer with their eyes.

Our ConnectAbility Hub allows people to try assistive technology free of charge to help them decide whether it is suitable for their needs.

Service user Kevin has been given a 'voice' through his iPad, for the first time in 20 years after a vicious attack left him with severe brain damage, broken bones and right side paralysis. Kevin typed his own message at the end of his first day with the iPad, simply saying: "It is so good to be able to speak again."

Jackie at Gregory Court discovered a part of her family she never knew existed, by using her e-Reader and Facebook account. She is now back in touch with many friends she thought she had lost after spending years together. Her e-reader's touch screen and stylus means Jackie can now easily turn pages and communicate with her contacts. She can access puzzles, music, shopping and social media, all through one device. This has opened up new possibilities for her, as well as helping improve her independence. Read Jackie's full story here.

Find out more about types of assistive technology.

Keep up-to-date with the latest #ConnectAbility developments on Facebook and Twitter.