Students teach tech to community

Jake is sitting at the desk in the Tech Novice Café with Betty posing for a photo next to him. Student Hubert and some other clients can be seen in the background

People from all over the county have visited The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) on Wednesday afternoons this term in order to understand and embrace the technology in their lives.


RNC students lead the Tech Novice Café, teaching tech skills to people who travel from as far away as Hay-on-Wye just to learn from their experience and expertise. Some clients attend because they wish to embrace the digital world we now live in, whilst others have visual impairments of their own and sought the understanding that students at the College can provide.


Betty, who found out about the service through a neighbour in north Herefordshire, said “I wanted to get a tablet, but was unsure which, and didn’t know if I’d even be able to use one. Jake is a whizz kid! He’s been patient and has taught me in a way that makes sense to me.”

Betty has macular degeneration and has found the buddy system with student Jake as her teacher has opened the world up for her. “Being able to talk and text people has been great for my wider communication,” she enthused.


Teresa Allen, ICT Teacher, said “This is a great community venture and was designed to be an opportunity for students of RNC to develop their own skills in teaching. The sessions are client led, so that we can develop skills in the things that are important to them. We are very pleased that the project gained funding through Fastershire so that we could go ahead with it.”


People learn a variety of devices, from tablets to assistive software packages on computers to smartphones. “I’m sure as soon as more people hear how good it is, they’ll be queuing at the door to attend,” encouraged Betty.


For more information on the Tech Novice Café, call 01432 376 333 or email

Article written by Anika Backhouse, PR, Publications & Outreach Officer at RNC


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