Technology Services

Brian Charlson using access technologyThe Carroll Center for the Blind offers a number of technology services from novice to expert that can help prepare a blind or vision impaired person to use technology proficiently for their goals and interests. Technology for the blind programs are available for children, working age adults and seniors, as well as for teachers and rehabilitation professionals in the use of speech, large print, PDAs, cellphones and Braille technology.

Training takes place in our state-of-the-art technology training facility on our campus in Newton, Massachusetts. Most of our instruction is individualized addressing the needs of the student, so whether you are new user, have just upgraded your system or need to learn a specific software, we can create a training program just for you.

Here are some examples of our technology for the blind programs:


Assistive Technology Assessments

A one-day assessment can evaluate the best assistive technology solutions for an individual. Whether it is low vision approach that requires screen enlargement; a non-visual utilizing speech output; voice input with Dragon; scanning software; a personal note-taker or even a combination of devices, trying the devices is often the best method to determine what is most effective. For those who have never used a computer before and need more time to identify if they have the skills to learn applications a one to two week course can educate them in computer terminology and access methods.


Basic Computer Skills with JAWS or Zoomtext

This program provides basic training in the use of the Windows operating system, Internet Explorer to browse the Web, Outlook Express to send and receive email, Microsoft Word to write and edit documents as well as Talking Typing Tutor to improve typing speed and accuracy. All instruction is through the use of the JAWS For Windows screen reader or Zoomtext teaching the student keystrokes, navigation, how to access dialog boxes and to otherwise interact with a computer independently.

Chances are, you may have questions about living with blindness or low vision, if so, we are here to answer your questions.


Advanced Computer Instruction

Often individuals who are blind that utilize technology on a daily basis need advanced training, need to learn a new application or have acquired a new computer system and software for which they need upgraded training. The Carroll Center can provide this specialized technology instruction for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Training is individualized and can last from one day to 2 weeks typically. All MSOffice applications and assistive technology for the blind are offered. Macintosh and iOS devices and applications are also available for instruction.


Apple Voiceover and Zoom Training for OSX and iOS devices

The Carroll Center also offer comprehensive training on all Apple products. Apple has a variety of accessibility features such as Zoom, a screen magnification application and Voiceover, a screen reader application, making these devices attractive to consumers with low or no vision.

These technologies include the MacBook and iMac computers, iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The Carroll Center will also train professionals who work with children and adults who are visually impaired.


Apple Mondays

Whether you currently use an iOS or Apple device or have one on your wish list, our monthly Apple Monday instructional workshops will help you become an independent user. If you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or even an Apple computer, you are sure to learn about new techniques and apps at the Carroll Center’s Apple Monday. These events are perfect for consumers and professionals who use speech, magnification, or Braille to interact with technology.


Computing for College

Strong written communication and computer skills are a necessity for students who attend college. In two- weeks, students advance their computer skills in internet access, email, and research, word processing tasks, and scanning with various formats. Students learn to search and download e-texts. Effective note taking skills are integrated into the classes. Demonstrations of web-based college management software will be provided.

Programs used include: MSWord, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint & Kurzweil. Students should be current users of Windows with JAWs or Zoomtext software. Students should bring PDAs and/or laptop computers they will be using for college to this training. Sessions offered during the summer and in January. Call for details.


Computing for Employment

Computing for Employment is a four week program providing instruction in computer applications used in work settings and job searching techniques with the goal of finding competitive employment. Extensive vocational development classes will assist participants in clarifying & pursuing their vocational needs and goals. Topics will include benefits, disclosure & accommodations, interviewing, on-line job applications, networking, resume & cover letter preparation, and presenting yourself. Students will develop advanced skills in MSOffice 2013 including Word, Excel, Outlook and Internet Explorer as well as file management and Windows 8.1 navigation. Scanning, and iOS device use will be covered. Classes will be offered in JAWS v14 or Zoomtext v10.1. Other adaptive devices such as video magnifiers and braille will be incorporated as needed.

Upon completing the Program, participants will be able to:

  • Navigate Windows 8.1 desktop, access menu bars and ribbons, interact with dialog boxes and manage files.
  • Create business type letters and documents.
  • Create basic excel reports.
  • Utilize Outlook to compose emails including attachments; reply and organize emails; manage contacts.
  • Search & navigate the internet; complete online forms, copy information from web pages; download files.
  • Send a resume & cover letter to employers or upload on-line.
  • Interact with employers over the phone, through email and face to face.
  • Scan print documents.
  • Utilize other technology to manage information.
  • Develop a next-step action-plan.

For more information or to make a referral contact Dina Rosenbaum at 800-852-3131, x238 or via email.


On-Site Training

If you cannot come to the Center for training and live within the Greater Boston area, training at your home, office or classroom can be provided when your system cannot be duplicated at the Center or if on-site will result in the highest level of effectiveness.


Online Learning

Because so many individuals find it difficult if not impossible to attend face-to-face instruction in the use of access technology, the Carroll Center offers instruction online through our distance learning program. Courses can be started at any time with access to the course content for twelve weeks from the date of registration. Most courses take about 30 hours to complete.