Charity urges others to apply for a grant it says was 'game changer' for disabled computer users (From Banbury Cake)
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Charity urges others to apply for a grant it says was 'game changer' for disabled computer users
A CHARITY says a grant from the Gannett Foundation has been a “game changer” as it encourages others to apply for funding this year.
The Gannett Foundation is again offering grants of up to £10,000 to charitable causes across Oxfordshire.
SpecialEffect, based in Cornbury Park, Charlbury, was handed £7,000 last year so it could buy an Eyegaze device as well as a laptop and monitor.
The equipment allows children with severe disabilities to use a computer and play games just by moving their eyes.
The charity, established in 1997, uses technology to help enhance the lives of people with disabilities.
It was one of three charities across Oxfordshire awarded grants by the foundation.
Both Oxford-based Yellow Submarine and Oxfordshire Playbus, based at Heyford Park, near Bicester, were also given donations.
Yellow Submarine was given a grant of £10,800 and Oxfordshire Playbus £2,879.
Rob Letts’s son Henry, five, who has cerebral palsy, has used the Eyegaze device on loan.
He said: “The look on my son’s face when he first used the Eyegaze kit to control something on a screen was indescribable. For the first time he could play with something completely on his own.
“It was a landmark moment for us as a family and really brought home what this amazing and unique charity can do.”
Marta Dabek, an occupational therapist at SpecialEffect, said: “It’s not until you experience this technology first-hand that you realise the impact it can have for people with disabilities.”
Spokesman for SpecialEffect Mark Saville said: “The Gannett grant has been a game changer.
“It has enabled us to buy equipment that has helped many severely disabled people to experience the fun, friendship and inclusion that results from being able to control a computer.”
He added: “Grants like these are invaluable for small charities like ourselves, and their impact goes way beyond their montentary value.”
s The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett, which owns Newsquest Oxfordshire and the Oxford Mail.
Charities and groups can apply for a grant of between £5,000 and £10,000.
More information and the application form are available at oxfordmail.co.uk/gannettfoundation
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