IDE Group helps Norwood to deliver assistive technology to children and adults with educational and learning disabilities.
Founded within London’s Jewish community in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities. The organisation seeks to support vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs, and adults with learning disabilities. The charity works with 56 local authorities and has 55 homes and centres across London and the South East.
Norwood helps people to maximise their potential at school, at home, and throughout their lives, with personalised services designed to enable choice. An integral part of achieving that goal is the application of assistive technology which allows people to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do because of limited movement or communication difficulties.
The charity’s biggest challenge with assistive technology has been enabling staff to choose and configure equipment to maximise the benefit of its application with users. Norwood had particularly struggled to provide its staff with sufficient access to product support material, assessment forms, and relevant update information via its existing intranet, which was proving an inefficient framework. The editorial board found it difficult to upload and order content, and staff struggled to locate and obtain information in a timely manner.
The charity needed a more effective way to curate and share content from the back end, that also gave staff a simple way to access the information they needed.
The solution immediately gave assistive technology staff managing the content a more controlled way to publish up-to-date information with dedicated management of the portal. It also gave care home staff simple access to support material when and where they needed it.
Joanne Surridge commented, “Prior to the installation of the SharePoint service, our assistive technology support team would often have to email support material to care home staff, as they would struggle to access this themselves via the intranet. It took a lot of work to achieve the level of simplicity that has been achieved with the assistive technology portal on the SharePoint service and IDE Group has been instrumental in ensuring this success.”
While SharePoint immediately provided the charity with a significantly improved system, IDE Group is also taking steps to enable the assistive technology portal to be accessed on mobile devices using a dedicated app, with the potential for this to be implemented as a second phase to the programme.