Fitzroy, Malvern

Centre Address

Dalvington and The Oaks, 146 Lower Howsell Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 1DL

Karten Centre Manager

Louise Hutchings

Contact Details


01886 833424


Host Organisation


Host Organisation Address

Dalvington and The Oaks, 146 Lower Howsell Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 1DL

Karten Centre Website

Centre Established

February 2008

Services/focus of the Karten Centre

The centre is in the grounds of two residences for 13 adults with learning disabilities. When installed in early 2008 it provided residents with access to three touch screen computers, assistive hardware and software, digital camera and a printer. It was regularly used by 12/13 residents during the day and in the evenings for a wide range of leisure activities including: music, games and interactive websites. However, as may be expected with technology, over the past 9 years, the equipment has deteriorated and usage of the centre has dropped right down.


Clients are the 13 residents, aged between 28-67; they use the centre on a drop-in, ad-hoc basis.


All the Malvern residents have profound and complex learning and physical disabilities and high support needs. Nine use wheelchairs, two prone wheelchairs, two residents are visually impaired, all have limited motor skills and need support with daily activities like eating and personal care. All have communication barriers, two residents have very limited verbal communication, the rest are non-verbal. Six residents have bought personal mobile devices (2 ipads, 3 Samsung tablets, 1 Lenovo laptop) which have completely transformed their ability to communicate their wishes and needs. The others rely on gestures and facial expressions and their frustration at not being understood sometimes leads to challenging behaviour.

Technology used in the Karten Centre

  • Three HP Business PCs that run XP
  • Three touchscreens
  • Ricoh colour printer (broken)

Assistive Technology

We have a stock of hardware that is not currently used much but could transfer to new devices. This includes roller balls, speakers and intelli keyboards.

Karten Centre Staff

A freelance assistive technology trainer comes to Malvern for four hours each Friday. He primarily supports residents with personal mobile devices, but sometimes takes residents to the centre to look at photos and surf the net.
A volunteer, Will, comes in three times a week to support residents to pursue their hobbies and interests. Will has mild learning disabilities and is passionate about the benefits of technology. He spent much time assisting residents to use the computers when the CTEC centre was initially set up, and he would be keen to do this again if we can install new equipment.
Support workers also take residents to the suite as and when they wish.

Karten Centre Hours

Currently used for 18 hours a week, as and when residents wish to use it. With new equipment this would increase significantly.

Services offered to the Network

Bob Jones, our technology trainer, has 25 years experience of working with assistive technology for people with learning and other disabilities, with a particular interest in enabling communication. He and Malvern Service Manager, Louise Hutchings, would be happy to share their knowledge.

Additional Information

We have witnessed the transformative impact technology has made to the lives of our six residents with personal devices. We would be very grateful for funding to extend these life-changing benefits to residents without the means to purchase ipads. We would also like to update the equipment in the CTEC centre so residents can benefit from the additional and complementary features that computers offer and for those residents who enjoy accessing IT in a formal, classroom-type setting.