About FTConnect

FTConnect is a website created primarily for learning disabled and autistic people aged 16+ and brought to you by the Fifth Trust. All our content is appropriate so some younger people may benefit.

The site has been developed to be as independent in use and as accessible as possible. With unique features to assist navigation and understanding for users, including text to speech where possible. The site is also fully compatible with eye-gaze technologies. 

The Fifth Trust is a charitable organization which has over 30 years’ experience of providing opportunities for the learning-disability community in Kent and is nationally recognized as an industry leader.

Our goal is to provide an entertainment and educational website for the learning-disabled community which can be accessed all day everyday across the English-speaking world, primarily for those who for whatever reason are unable to attend daytime provisions and clubs.

We also hope to build this into a safe online community, bringing like-minded people together which will provide short respite periods for carers and parents, knowing that that those they are responsible for are using a safe online environment.

The genesis of FTConnect comes from the Covid lockdowns of 2020-21. Our centres were forced to close, leaving our students isolated from friends, and with little to do. Within the first few weeks of lockdown, we were running three online sessions a day offering a range of activities. The popularity of the sessions made us aware of the potential an online resource could provide.

The most successful of these on-line sessions were supported by video resources. These videos were also uploaded to YouTube so that they could be accessed at any time.

Following the January lockdown in 2021 we worked with a selection of our students with varying abilities to understand what they would like from a website. We then took our student’s feedback and worked alongside our web developers Colonel Duck, using their team’s experience and knowledge to create our site.

We believe we have developed a unique web experience for our users.

From these experiences we have come to see the advantages of using video resources with our students. Video allows:

  • Repetition
  • The ability to pause, to catch up or allow time for information to be taken in
  • The ability to rewind to revisit missed information.
  • The ability to follow or copy an instructor.
  • Time to deliver instructions at a slower pace.
  • The inclusion of visuals to aid understanding, with the avoidance of sensory overload in mind.
  • Accessible using multiple types of devices.

 

Where possible all our videos are shot in real time, allowing users to follow along and to allow the time for a slower-paced delivery.

We understand that internet safety is a major concern for parents and carers and appreciate that we have a responsibility to keep our users safe.

Therefore, we have developed our site so there can be no communication between users. Our social media sites have comments set to administrator confirmation to avoid negativity and online abuse. We will not publish any images of individuals without permission.

Our site is also a progressive website. This means that on tablets and smartphones it can easily be converted into an app, denying any further internet access. Please see these links to see how to convert the site to an app for IOS and Android.

All membership information is held in keeping with our GDPR policy which can be seen here.

Whilst we actively ask people to send us images of their completed work it is by email only for vetting purposes.

We strongly advise that email addresses linked to memberships are those of a parent or carer. If this is not the case, we will have to assume that the individual has permission to use their own.

Our ambitions are to:

  • Continue to develop and build appropriate content creating an extensive library of videos in a range of subjects and interests.
  • Provide suitable and achievable on-line courses to aid personal development which results in a recognized qualification.
  • Create a safe online community for users.
  • Provide live interactive sessions.
  • Create a parent/carer zone with forums, FAQs, podcasts etc.

FTConnect is a website created primarily for learning disabled and autistic people aged 16+ and brought to you by the Fifth Trust. All our content is appropriate so some younger people may benefit.

The site has been developed to be as independent in use and as accessible as possible. With unique features to assist navigation and understanding for users, including text to speech where possible. The site is also fully compatible with eye-gaze technologies. 

The Fifth Trust is a charitable organization which has over 30 years’ experience of providing opportunities for the learning-disability community in Kent and is nationally recognized as an industry leader.

Our goal is to provide an entertainment and educational website for the learning-disabled community which can be accessed all day everyday across the English-speaking world, primarily for those who for whatever reason are unable to attend daytime provisions and clubs.

We also hope to build this into a safe online community, bringing like-minded people together which will provide short respite periods for carers and parents, knowing that that those they are responsible for are using a safe online environment.

The genesis of FTConnect comes from the Covid lockdowns of 2020-21. Our centres were forced to close, leaving our students isolated from friends, and with little to do. Within the first few weeks of lockdown, we were running three online sessions a day offering a range of activities. The popularity of the sessions made us aware of the potential an online resource could provide.

The most successful of these on-line sessions were supported by video resources. These videos were also uploaded to YouTube so that they could be accessed at any time.

Following the January lockdown in 2021 we worked with a selection of our students with varying abilities to understand what they would like from a website. We then took our student’s feedback and worked alongside our web developers Colonel Duck, using their team’s experience and knowledge to create our site.

We believe we have developed a unique web experience for our users.

From these experiences we have come to see the advantages of using video resources with our students. Video allows:

  • Repetition
  • The ability to pause, to catch up or allow time for information to be taken in
  • The ability to rewind to revisit missed information.
  • The ability to follow or copy an instructor.
  • Time to deliver instructions at a slower pace.
  • The inclusion of visuals to aid understanding, with the avoidance of sensory overload in mind.
  • Accessible using multiple types of devices.

 

Where possible all our videos are shot in real time, allowing users to follow along and to allow the time for a slower-paced delivery.

We understand that internet safety is a major concern for parents and carers and appreciate that we have a responsibility to keep our users safe.

Therefore, we have developed our site so there can be no communication between users. Our social media sites have comments set to administrator confirmation to avoid negativity and online abuse. We will not publish any images of individuals without permission.

Our site is also a progressive website. This means that on tablets and smartphones it can easily be converted into an app, denying any further internet access. Please see these links to see how to convert the site to an app for IOS and Android.

All membership information is held in keeping with our GDPR policy which can be seen here.

Whilst we actively ask people to send us images of their completed work it is by email only for vetting purposes.

We strongly advise that email addresses linked to memberships are those of a parent or carer. If this is not the case, we will have to assume that the individual has permission to use their own.

Our ambitions are to:

  • Continue to develop and build appropriate content creating an extensive library of videos in a range of subjects and interests.
  • Provide suitable and achievable on-line courses to aid personal development which results in a recognized qualification.
  • Create a safe online community for users.
  • Provide live interactive sessions.
  • Create a parent/carer zone with forums, FAQs, podcasts etc.

CONTENT COMING SOON!

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