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Independence through IT

313. Dalton Brown

A local hero who helps unemployed disabled people in Bilston gain independence and get back to work.

Dalton Brown, 54, is a former athlete who used to run at Wolverhampton and Bilston athletics club in 1970/80s, and had trials for Team GB in the 1980s. Two years ago, he suffered a stroke which left him with reduced mobility, and he became isolated. He asked local charity Access 2 Business in Wolverhampton to help him use a computer, which they did using voice recognition software. Dalton was so inspired that he now volunteers at Access 2 Business three days a week and trains other people with disabilities to use software to help their personal freedom and independence.

Through patience and determination Dalton has managed to regain his independence after his stroke and inspired those around him to do the same. His hard work led to them nominating him for this and other prestigious awards. Dalton was recently recognised by being nominated for BT’s Tech4Good Award which recognises technical innovation that helps make the world a better place.

Access2Business is a charity based in Wolverhampton that supports people who are unemployed into work in the local area. Over the last two years, over 450 local people have been successfully assisted into work.  Dalton is now training others in how to use the voice recognition technology that has helped him gain his independence and writing a book about his experiences.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Dalton saw from his own experience how being able to use a computer transformed his life. By helping other disabled people to learn to use technology, Dalton has helped them to get more of their lives back – helping many to find work and to feel less isolated in their communities.  This Points of Light award recognises the great service Dalton has given to all those he has helped.”

Dalton said:

“Some of the people I work with are fearful and untrusting of this new technology. Having used it myself, I know how overwhelming it can be but with perseverance it can open up a whole new world to stroke sufferers like me. I want to give people the confidence to develop and regain themselves in this way. This is what drives me.

I was really humbled and grateful to have been awarded a Point of Light. I feel so overwhelmed that in the midst of everything that has happened my work and tenacity can still be recognised. I give thanks to God because without Him none of this would be possible.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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