Service: Assistive Technology

Carol

Meet Carol

Carol is an 84-year-old woman who lives in a senior community and has felt lonely and isolated during the pandemic. When she first became a Lighthouse client, she didn’t know how to use her iPhone. She always had trouble answering calls, getting voiceover to work, and came to rely on and enjoy going to the Lighthouse to practice using her phone.

Recently, Lighthouse staff called Carol to check on her and to let her know that office closures had been extended. She was surprised to hear from the Lighthouse during this time of isolation. The staff person thoughtfully asked her how she was and if she had any questions regarding when the Lighthouse would reopen so she could resume her visits. While Carol misses her in-person interactions at the Lighthouse, she clearly appreciated the phone call and the information provided. This personal touch helped a senior feel cared for and connected.

Annie

Meet Annie

Annie is an 82-year-old woman living with dry macular degeneration. For the past nine months, she has been regularly attending the adjustment to blindness support group at Lighthouse of Collier. In that time, Annie has grown from a passive listener to a regular participant, confident in her ability to contribute to the group conversation.

When joining the group, Annie did not have a mobile phone and had no interest in owning one. However, after several months of listening to group members discuss the various tasks that a smart phone can accomplish, Annie started believing she could learn to use one. She spent the next month or so asking questions about which phone she should purchase. Soon after, she bought an iPhone and began scheduling weekly assistive technology lessons.

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Meet Bob

A little over four years ago, Bob lost his wife of more than 30 years to diabetes. Naturally, he felt depressed and isolated. His situation was even more difficult as he is totally blind and profoundly hearing impaired due to a condition called Usher syndrome. Without a partner at home or family nearby to help him drive, shop, or read mail, Bob was vulnerable. A concerned neighbor urged Bob to go to the Lighthouse for help. Bob enrolled in classes to learn how to access his iPhone, attended support groups, and received orientation and mobility training.

Now, Bob has mastered the use of his iPhone. He can send texts, read emails, schedule calendar appointments, use Uber, and other important tools. He has also developed a close network of friends who are blind or visually impaired, and who help each other navigate difficult times.

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picture of a laptop open to grocery online

Meet Dan

Dan is an 83-year-old man who was referred to Lighthouse of Collier by his home health care nurse. Dan is a self-described “hermit” who lives alone in a trailer in southeast Naples and receives limited income. His son lived nearby but recently moved out-of-state. About 10 years ago, Dan stopped driving due to legal blindness and other health conditions. Without help, Dan’s situation could be tenuous.

Dan was unaware that he could have fresh groceries delivered to his home. The Lighthouse instructor downloaded the Walmart grocery app and helped Dan learn to search for and add items to his favorites list. With practice, Dan will be able to order healthy, fresh foods. Dan is close to reaching his goals and keeping his independence.

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Purchase Seeing Beyond Blindness

If you would like to own one of these cocktail table books, please donate a suggested selling price of $35.00 to Lighthouse of Collier and we will send you one straight away.

Lighthouse of Collier dedicated the book to Art Bookbinder, a man who could see beyond blindness. He was a great friend and leader. May he rest in peace. August 1942 – April 2020.

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