As you might be aware, I spent a couple of days at Connecting Up Australia 2009 this week (you can read my notes from day 1 and day 2 over on the HOZ blog). I spoke briefly, between sessions, with Richard Stubbs from the Victorian-based Beyond Disability Inc. who:
"assist wheelchair school children ( Wheelie Kids programme) and the housebound mobility disabled (through "Housebound & Elderly Citizens Online") and their carers to have access to the Internet so they can be better informed about advocacy, home help and in house care, professional services, living skills, support groups, chat groups, online education and leisure."
Unfortunately, as Richard explained during the conference, they are finding it increasingly difficult to source the additional donated laptops that they need for their programs. They wrote this on their Website back at the end of last year:
"BDI's first laptop to NSW has gone to a 13-year-old disabled girl. TAD NSW informed us by phone that they no longer have their computer loans scheme and TAD NSW has the same issues as Beyond Disability in sourcing these disappearing laptops. Where do they go?"
It appears that as more organisations have moved to leasing, it means that rather than donating these laptops to organisations like BDI at the end of their corporate working lives, they are instead being sold or auctioned off as second hand laptops. This is causing them real problems, on top of the costs and challenges of finding other suitable computing peripherals that they already have to deal with.
So, can anyone out there help BDI or provide some assistance with finding companies that are willing to donate old laptops?