Our clients are blind or visually impaired and benefit from a range of assistive technologies that help them access information and communicate with their world. As technology changes, so must we change how we offer support and training for assistive technology to meet their needs. Traditionally, Future In Sight has physically hosted 5 technology users groups in different locations around New Hampshire, meeting monthly, to share and learn about all things technology. Since spring of 2020, those groups have been meeting online, in their geographically specific groups. We’ve learned that there are wonderful opportunities that continue to evolve in how we connect with clients to deliver training and support for technology, that is not bound by geography.
Regionally based tech groups are fabulous, but they also place limitations on meeting each participant’s needs. For example, suppose the topic that month in your region was all about iOS, but you have an Android. Therefore, the meeting was irrelevant to your circumstances. Or, perhaps the topic was “How to Download Apps”, yet you either don’t know what an app is, or you might already be a pro at downloading apps. Or, the Seacoast Tech Group may be discussing a topic you are interested in such as “magnification settings for the Windows PC”, but you belong to the Nashua Tech Group.
Necessity Fosters Innovation
While we initially adapted our regional technology groups to an online format out of necessity due to COVID-19, we have found the evolution to online group instruction to be worthwhile and accessible. Technology brings equal access to printed material; whether it is for work, home or leisure. The benefits are definitely worth taking a “byte” out of technology. If you have an assistive tech topic you’d like to suggest as a workshop, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can build it in to a future rotation, or work with you on that topic on a one-on-one tech training.
Check out the list, and if you haven’t signed up, give a couple of workshops a try! You’ll be glad you did.
Here is the link to the next several that are coming up: https://futureinsight.org/events/category/technology-groups/
Stephanie Hurd began her career with Future In Sight in 2007. Her role has evolved from Coordinator of Volunteer Services to Community Relations Coordinator to her current role as Assistive Technology and Activities Specialist. Stephanie has developed her expertise in assistive technology through study and first-hand experience. She is adept at both technology support and training as well as program design for leisure and learning activities for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.