Technology Services

The Carroll Center for the Blind offers a number of training and evaluation 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.


MS Office Skills

This technology for the blind and visually impaired program is a must for those seeking employment, need to upgrade their skills for existing work or college students. You will learn all of the Microsoft Office applications to be a truly independent computer user. Learn to use intermediate and advanced features of Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer as well as instruction in the use of scanners and printers. Consumers also learn to use note-taking devices and improve their typing speed and accuracy. Seminars in web-based job searching, resume development, writing cover letters and interviewing are also provided.

Applicants must be current JAWS or ZoomText users, have a computer and email account at home and type at least 20 wpm. Contact the Carroll Center today for more information about the program.


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, these monthly 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.


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.