Computer education at the Association was introduced in the early 90s with a donation of RM10,000.00 by Forever Living Products Company in March 1990. With that donation, we purchased our first computer worth RM8,500.00, an IBM Machine, and some of our students were motivated to learn typewriting through the computer. Then things began to change gradually with the establishment of a separate computer lab for computer-assisted lessons. In the mid 90’s we purchased two Apple computers Apple Macintosh Classic and Macintosh LC575. The computer class moved to the new wing in the late 90s with the addition of an IBM PC and another Apple E-Mac.
In the year 2006, the computer lab underwent a major restructuring. DELL Asia Pacific Foundation donated 20 high-end desktop computers inclusive of 3 units of touchscreen monitors. The foundation also sponsored the purchase of some special education software and computer adaptive devices. This unit known as DELL Learning Center was launched by Mr. Simon Wong, the then Vice-President, of Asia Operations on 11 August 2006. Its motto is ‘Bridging the digital divide’. The idea behind the setting up of this learning center is to promote IT knowledge among the students and also to bridge the digital divide between persons with cerebral palsy and the world around them.
The skills acquired give them a sense of independence and the ability to communicate with one another without having to leave their homes. The wider use of social media and application software has empowered many individuals with cerebral palsy to perform many things that were not possible in the past. With the use of computer assistive devices, many students were able to access computers and the internet. Most of our students can use application software to create relevant documents such as flyers, slide presentations, tables, name cards, greeting cards, etc. Students’ participation and interest in computer-assisted lessons have increased tremendously.
During the last quarter of 2015, Dell Global Bayan Lepas Penang donated towards the makeover of our computer lab. Thus, we procured 13 personal computers with OS 8.1, which were subsequently upgraded to Windows 10. And, with the donation we too purchased some assistive devices to provide effective computer accessibility for our students.