Bloggersunite.org has suggested that bloggers around the world use tomorrow to blog about empowering people with disabilities, and I thought what a good idea.
As you know, Parramatta Computer Pals for Seniors prides itself on being fully "seniors friendly" and one way to do this is to make sure our members and visitors with a disability can use the club facilities.
To this end, we made sure we were located in wheelchair accessible premises - the Council Chambers Building - and you all know this, otherwise our president John Moxon (a wheelchair user for over 40 years now) couldn't participate.
We also understand about memory loss, confusion, anxiety and occasional seemingly odd behaviour due to strokes or other illnesses. We have established policies and procedures to make sure our trainers and buddies can communicate and work easily with seniors who don't learn quickly or need to be reminded how to undertake certain activities or computer tasks.
We have resources to show students with vision loss alternative ways to use their computers and enlarge fonts in the various operating systems from XP to Windows 7. We have copies of ASCCA's publication on Accessible features in Windows, and copies of a publication distributed by the former Royal Blind Society (now Vision Australia).
And just recently, we have purchased a portable wireless transmitter sound system called FrontRow to Go which was built especially for voice - it enables listeners to pick up consonants which they often miss. We encourage all our trainers to use the system in the training room, and we also use it for our monthly meetings. It's been a great success - worth every cent of the $2090 we paid for it.