The purpose of Karten CTEC Centres is to improve the quality of life and independence of adults with congenital or acquired physical, cognitive, sensory or learning disabilities or with mental health problems. This is done by enabling access to adaptive computer technology, for recreation and mental stimulation, for the development of their communication skills, for further education and in preparation for the world of work..
Clients busy in a Karten Centre
CTEC Centres will use the latest developments in Adaptive or Assistive Computer Technology, including a wide range of special input and output devices and software programs suitable for people with various disabilities. The computers will include high performance PCs with multi-media capability, high-speed modems and Internet connection.
The physical disabilities of clients at the Centres may have arisen from a number of causes, either inborn or acquired, including, among others, cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, polio, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis. Cognitive disability of clients may have a genetic cause such as in the case of Downs Syndrome, or be the result of stroke or head injury. Specific learning disability may include dyslexia, dysgraphicia or dyscalculia. Sensory disability may consist of blindness, serious visual impairment or deafness or deafblindness.
The Centres will provide for their clients:
- an assessment of which adaptive equipment and software programs best match their individual needs;
- training in the use of such equipment and software;
- individual programmes for the improvement of their communication, social and life skills, literacy, numeracy and cognitive abilities, and in appropriate cases programmes for training in computer-related occupations such as word processing, book-keeping, telemarketing, call centre work, graphic design, desk top publishing or computer programming or web page design and maintenance.
A typical Karten CTEC Centre
Some CTEC Centres include a Bureau to process the office work of the Centre and take on paid work from outside organisations. This will enable clients to train with real work, and will, at the same time, contribute to the Centre’s funds. It will also provide for the clients a useful transition to work at external employers, and it should be recognised as “work experience” by external examiners for the purpose of national qualifications.
It is a key part of the concept of Karten CTEC Centre that all the Centres will “network” with each other so as to benefit from each other’s specialised experience and expertise and to spread best practice. In order to facilitate this all the CTEC Centres have combined to form “The Karten Network”. The Trustees of the Network are executives of the “host” organisations within which CTEC Centres have been established, or of the CTEC Centres themselves, together with a representative of the Ian Karten Charitable Trust.