Church activities. Seeing your family, especially grandchildren. Spending time with friends. Taking exercise classes. Staying mentally active with community college classes. The list of reasons that neighbors want to use technology goes on and on.
That’s why we’re loaning devices like laptops and tablets to seniors over 60 and adults with disabilities who live in San Francisco.
“As active as I am in church and other activities I do, I need to know this,” said Dorothy Cook, who recently received a device. “It’s a need, not a want.”
She also runs a nonprofit preserving gospel music, but that hasn’t been working at all because she needs to learn technology better, she said. She’s also like to be better able to continue teaching children at church and get back to being more active with other nonprofits in her community.
Community Living Campaign’s Neighborhood Tech Connect program also offers training — not just the devices.
Help is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese via virtual help desks and classes as well as individually scheduled sessions.
Everything on Zoom
For Norma Block, one of her main tech challenges was not knowing how to do everything on Zoom or erase old emails.
But with her new laptop and some training, she now feels able to participate in Zoom classes offered by CLC, keeping up with email and Googling information.
“I also enjoy feeling connected to a city college literature classes and a Tibetan Buddhist organization which I belong to.”
Tech Training Classes
“I was trained by Peter Karpathakis once and found him to be kind, patient, articulate and encouraging,” Norma said.
Peter, the program manager of Neighborhood Tech Connect, and some of the other trainers go out of their way to help, said Dorothy, the church-going, gospel-loving participant.
For her, sometimes the classes have been a little too advanced for her understanding of the technology. But Liz Dunlap and Peter “have been very patient and go slow enough that I can learn. I like that they say there are no stupid questions.”
Getting these devices opens up a whole new world for some people, said Bethany Schwarz, the NTC Device and Access Project Director.
“Many seniors have watched others in the home, like their grandchildren or spouse, use technology throughout the pandemic to talk to people, play games, or watch cooking videos,” she said. “When I tell them they can get their OWN device, just for themselves to use, it’s as if, suddenly, a whole world has opened up around them. They get to imagine all the things they will be able to do. ‘I can take my exercise class? Will I be able to see my grandbaby?’
“It lights up my day to tell them, ‘Yes, you can do that. Yes! You can do that too!’”
Besides the devices and training, CLC can also help if your Internet connection is unreliable. We help participants determine the services needed and assist in applying for free or low-cost Internet service.
To find our upcoming tech classes in various languages, click here.
To learn more and see if you’re eligible, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-821-1003, ext. 109.