Byrony

"I’ve learnt so much about her" - Bryony regains her independence

Bryony learnt to use a computer keyboard at school, but for the past ten years hasn’t used these skills at all to communicate. Now, through the Learning into Action course, her support worker Jo has been helping her to rediscover this skill.

“We wanted to regain that knowledge she learned and start applying it to her everyday life,” explains Jo. “She used to just let people do things for her, like writing a shopping list or composing an email, but we wanted to give her the skills to do that herself.”

However, the process wasn’t as straightforward as simply relearning old skills. They quickly realised that the computer keyboard wasn’t suitable for her, as she doesn’t have enough dexterity to hit the right keys. She would often hit several keys at once, or struggle to find the key she wanted.

“We also found that she couldn’t remove her finger quickly enough, so the letter would repeat several times before she lifted her finger, and I’d have to delete the extras,” says Jo. 

With advice from the Learning into Action course, they tracked down a keyboard with much bigger keys, which used bright colours to make it easier to read. The new keyboard worked much better. Using this, Bryony has been able to write emails to her friends and write shopping lists with minimal support.

“I like writing on the keyboard,” says Bryony. “I like to write emails to Deanne.”

But the course has also helped Jo to have a much better understanding of Bryony as a person.

"The course has been really good, as it’s allowed me that intense focus on one person and one skill. I’ve learnt so much about her. Her verbal communication can be difficult to understand, so I haven’t always known what she’s been thinking.

"When you find new ways of understanding what someone’s saying, you realise new things about them. I realised that Bryony was much more aware of everything around her than I realised, and as a result I’m now doing more advanced activities on a daily basis. I understand a lot more about Bryony because of the course."

- Jo