Published On: 10th January 2023

Misgav Awarded £15,000 Grant to Support Learning Disabled Women through IT

The Access Foundation has approved a grant to fund an IT training programme to help learning disabled women from some of the most deprived areas of London gain employment.

Misgav has served learning disabled women from minoritized and economically deprived households in Hackney since 2006. The charity’s mission is to help these women become independent and narrow the gap of social disparity they face.

The grant will provide the IT training resources required to deliver ICT entry level qualifications for a cohort of beneficiaries for 12 months, half of whom have severe disabilities to overcome such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Cerebral Palsy.

Through training and skills development, Misgav helps to address the great inequality faced by learning disabled adults in entering employment - only 6% are currently in employment in the UK.

Indeed, 32% of learning-disabled people have no digital skills. The need to bridge inequality in IT literacy among this group became urgent during the pandemic when the majority of services moved online leaving many people excluded.

The project funded by the Access Foundation, will provide IT skills training through a weekly accredited course and one-to-one coaching. At least 16 learning disabled women will benefit, equipping them with greater employability skills and emotional support to help address feeling of isolation.

All users will also learn interpersonal skills such as time management, communication, money management, budgeting and fraud awareness. The project’s impact will be measured by improved job readiness, gained skills and successful employment and while securing employment is the programme’s tangible goal, users will also gain independence and improved self-esteem.

One of Misgav’s beneficiaries, Beth, aged 24 who is learning disabled and on the autistic spectrum, joined the IT course previously having had minimal access to a computer.

Beth had a tailored made programme to start learning the basic functions of Microsoft programme. She now enjoys making power point presentations and has learnt how to use google searches effectively for her projects.

Another outcome of IT course for Beth was that it reduced her acute isolation, now that she can keep in contact with friends via email, she said; “I like using email because I can be in contact with my friends at a time that is convenient for me and for them.”