“Express Link-Up” by Jones and Ryan

  • ©Mark Jones and Pat Ryan




    Express Link-Up

Program Title:

    SIGKids Community Outreach



    Founded in January 1997, Express Link-Up empowers hospitalized children by providing appropriate computer and communications technology, including a dedicated secure intranet that enables them to play, learn, communicate, and develop critical life skills. The NHSnet, which supports the intranet, is the communication network of Britain’s National Health Service. Software that spans education  (including virtual reality interactive chemistry, encyclopedias, literacy soft ware, and word processing), email, Web-site building, and games have made the system an enormous hit with patients and hospital school teachers. Patients can send and receive email from their schools and friends, but a high-level firewall blocks unwelcome contact. Speech-activated software assists patients who have problems using a keyboard. This is of great value for patients with injured hands, those suffering from cerebral palsy or head injuries, or even young children who have not mastered the keyboard. 250,000 children pass through UK hospitals each year, of which 150,000 are considered long-stay. Some children (for example, those who require six-hour kidney dialysis three days a week) suffer terrible disruption to their education. With PCs next to their beds, they can bring work to the hospital, do school projects, study for exams, or use relaxation software to overcome stress. 

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