When young people who are blind or low vision are equipped with the skills to use mainstream computing technology, they’re gaining skills that prepare them for future study and employment. With JAWS, ZoomText or Fusion, they can most efficiently use popular apps that embrace accessibility such as Microsoft Office, or much trickier proprietary apps unique to a particular workplace.
Through our partnership with Computers for the Blind, (CFTB) which we’ve blogged about previously, we’re proud that the power of JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion was taught to a group of middle and high school students at a week-long technology camp in Missouri.
The camp has been a regular fixture of Alphapointe, a provider of blindness rehabilitation services, for some years. Alphapointe covers the cost of the camp, while CFTB provides laptops for the students to use which are made accessible through the software we provide.
This year, 27 students attended. They were taught skills including the use of productivity software, social networking to ensure they feel included among their peers, and staying safe and secure when using a computer.
Mentoring from blind and low vision adults is critical for young people, and the camp included opportunities to meet adults who have incorporated technology into their professions.
Students used JAWS or ZoomText depending on their degree of sight. When the camp was over, they took their laptop home, packed with useful software, including ours.
We’re delighted to have been able to make such an important contribution to these young people’s lives through our partnership with CFTB. We hope all the students enjoy their new laptops and software.