AbilityNet joins stroke conference

AbilityNet Advice and Information Officer Alex Barker reports back from the Stroke Association Conference

For the past couple of years we've been working with the Stroke Association to raise awareness of the impact on stroke survivors, and how technology can help.  We are now the Association's go-to source for information on adaptive technology. I've been lucky enough to go to a couple of their events. One in June, which was held at a hotel by East Midlands Airport which was the Stroke Assembly and the other one which was held in Nottingham was the Stroke Associations UK Club Conference. 

This conference was held in October and this coincides with World Stroke Day on the 29th October. 

Meeting stroke survivors is an eye-opening experience

Meeting people at these Stroke Association events really made me realise what the effects of a stroke Lawrence Knight, ITCH volunteer showing a couple of people some adaptive technologycould be. Not just for the stroke survior but for the family too.  It's a real eye-opening experience. You get a real sense of how frustrating it could be to try and think of the right words to use, or to even hold a mug of coffee and then drink from it. 

I always remember a caller to our helpline who sold and bought records online who called us after he'd had a stroke and I came up with solutions to help him use his computer.  He then gave me some names of albums that I might want to try out. He was so thankful that someone had taken the time to listen to him communicate his issus, even though it took me several minutes to really understand what he needed.

Call the AbilityNet Helpline on 0800 269 545 for trusted advice on technology if you have a disability at any age


There were so many people that came to talk to us who had issues with communication, motor and cognitive ability that it made me realise that surviving a stroke is only part of their story. It is about meeting other people in the same situation and sharing good experiences (and bad ones too). 

How AbilityNet helps stroke survivors in the community

There's always a real sense of community and friendship at the stroke events and in some ways it feels unlike a formal conference and more a gathering of friends with shared experiences. I'm always bumping into people who I've met at previous stroke events. 

At the conference in Nottingham, one of our brilliant volunteers, Lawrence Knight joined us and spoke movingly about the work that he has done to help stroke clubs in Hampshire.  He has certainly made such a difference to people's lives (picture above).

You can book a FREE at home visit from one of our disclosure-checked volunteers

AbilityNet has lots of resources which could help you if you have had a stroke, or have  a family member who has had a stroke. Don't forget that if you want to talk to an expert about what sort of device might help you after a stroke, or what sort of keyboard might be more beneficial to you to use as a stroke survivor, you can always give us a a call and we'll do what we can to help.

Lawrence, is one of Ability's network of 280 volunteers. You also might be interested to see our Youtube video on how one of our volunteers helped a client who had a stroke and was strugging with her technology. 

Further information and support for stroke survivors

The Stroke Association

Stroke Association forums: Chat with others affected by stroke, join groups and make friends

Stroke Helpline: 0303 3033 100

Website: Visit the Stroke Association website for more information and support

Support from AbilityNet

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.

Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.

We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets talking about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.

My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.