Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


What would you do if you couldn’t see; if your world suddenly went dark?

So many people rely on the ability to read a leaflet, surf the net and make use of social media to make sense of the world and to make practical choices, like how to get the right bus/train to Leeds or who to go to for help about benefits.

How would you cope if that simple choice was taken away? If you could no longer do those simple things that you previously took for granted?

Elephant Kiosks (Elekiosk) are a unique and innovative way to tackle this problem.

We know that over 1,000 people in York are registered blind. We also know there are 10,000 people with sight loss including through cataracts, glaucoma and macular disease. With just one Elekiosk we could help answer as many as 2,500 questions for people with sight loss, their friends, families and carers each year and maybe more.

The Wilberforce Trust, York’s oldest Charity established in 1833, provides services to people with sight loss to help them remain independent and continue to enjoy real quality of life after sight loss.

The Trust seeks funding to purchase a touchscreen kiosk which can also speak, which will benefit people with sight loss, their friends, families and carers in York. We plan to develop an accessible, relevant information resource that will enable people to find the information they need as quickly and easily as possible via the kiosk. Existing kiosks have never been able to speak before, so our work will be a first nationally.

Elekiosk can provide targeted information to help you cope with sight loss, on a practical, financial and emotional level by speaking to you in clear and simple language to give you the support you need.

The kiosk is height and tilt adjustable for you, making it fully accessible and inclusive to anyone, irrespective of their ability. Optimised for wheelchair users and people with other disabilities, it makes it easy to use for other people too. EleKiosks can be sited in places where they will reach the most people e.g. council offices, GP surgeries.

The Elekiosk is designed specifically for the public. The kiosk is easy and fun to use, even for people with no computer experience. The EleKiosk is an attractive, height-adjustable, high-performance touchscreen kiosk. Manufactured in the UK, its unique design makes it engaging and non-intimidating.

The kiosks have previously been successful in gathering patient data so we know they work but they have never before been adapted as a speaking information resource. People who visit our Low Vision Service tell us a talking information resource is desperately needed. Other organisations we work with nationally (e.g. Vision 2020 and Ryedale Sight Support) have evidence from the people they work with that this problem is becoming more serious. Our partners, Ryedale Sight Support, actively support this bid as they know what a significant impact this can have on the community.

The kiosks gather real-time data which can be used to spot trends in what people ask us, enabling us to identify gaps which we can fill. We can also run customer surveys on the kiosk so we will know whether the information we provide is helpful and what more is needed.

This first for York can later be rolled out to benefit 1000’s more people with sight loss nationally and make a real difference to their lives in a practical and emotional way.

Project Video

Wilberforce Trust

Moment of Pride

Just to see the sense of relief on someone’s face when you help them sort out a major worry makes it all worthwhile. Providing that key piece of information that help someone secure their independence and dignity is priceless.

Location: York