The Computers for Special Needs Trust is a registered charitable trust based in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was established in 1996 to "promote and support the use of computer technology to assist people with special needs". It is our belief that computer technology can break down many of the barriers experienced by people with disabilities.
The Trust currently operates two activities: Barrier Free Computing provides supported computing sessions for people experiencing disability, with assistance available as required, and the Computer Loan Scheme lends computer equipment to people with special needs for use in their own homes.
Each week Barrier Free Computing holds sessions at a disability-friendly site where participants can come along to work on activities of their own choosing. It is a fun time suited to people of all levels of ability. Tutors are available to assist where required. Costs are covered by grants from a number of local and national groups.
Barrier Free Computing is an approved Adult and Community Education programme funded by The Tertiary Education Commission. Assistance with volunteer expenses is provided by the Lottery Grants Board and COGS.
The Computer Loan Scheme provides modern computers for people to use at home. It is intended to fill a gap where government or other funding sources are not available. Since the scheme was established in 2000, hundreds of people with special needs have benefited from the use of a loan computer for short or long periods of time. The support of The Rata Foundation, Mainland Foundation, COGS, and the Microsoft Software Donation Programmes is gratefully acknowledged.
The Computers for Special Needs Trust is registered with the NZ Charities Commission - Number CC25877