One of the many highlights from our children’s summer camp that concluded last week was the presentation by Andrew Kirkpatrick, Adobe’s Director of Accessibility. He posted a blog highlighting Lighthouse of Collier and its services, and our collaboration with them for the Children’s Summer Camp.
Wanda is an 81-year-old client that 1st came to Lighthouse of Collier at the end of September, 2020. She has Age-Related Macular Degeneration as well an autoimmune disorder which affects her bones, muscles, skin, and joints severely limiting her physical mobility. She came to the Lighthouse primarily looking for help using her iPad. The iPad served as her primary piece of assistive technology as she had given up using her laptop computer. It was her communication lifeline to her family and friends who lived far away but she could no longer read the print on the screen.
After an assessment of Wanda’s needs, it was apparent to the instructor that keeping Wanda in communication with her family and friends was of the utmost importance. It was obvious that the iPad was not what Wanda needed. The instructor inspected Wanda’s laptop. The laptop was the answer. The instructor explained to Wanda that hooking up a large screen computer monitor and a large print keyboard to her existing laptop would increase her visual access to digital communication. Additionally, she would have full use of her computer again.
Wanda explained that her grandson would be visiting her. The instructor offered to work with the family to help guide them in purchasing the necessary equipment. Over the holidays, the family bought the equipment and had it sent to her. Her grandson set up the screen and gave her a mouse in the shape of pen that would allow her to have greater control over the cursor placement.
The instructor visited Wanda in early January and connected her large print keyboard. The instructor then went into the computer settings and found the visual accessibility settings. Working with Wanda, the instructor increased the overall size of the digital information, both pictures and font size. Additional adjustments were made to fine tune the font size and improve contrast. Wanda was then instructed on how to best utilize and navigate her computer. After instruction, Wanda demonstrated that she could again use her computer not only for correspondence, but also for using her Amazon Prime account. She could again pick out music, books, and videos.
The Lighthouse of Collier serves the whole person and works closely with family to ensure that independence is maintained. Wanda is so relieved and happy that she again has access to all the digital communication she thought she would never have again.