Technology Services for Adults

Technology Helps—If You Know How to Use It.

The Carroll Center for the Blind offers a variety of access technology instructional programs that can help blind and visually impaired individuals use technology proficiently for work and home. Programs are available for individuals as well as teachers and rehabilitation professionals in the use of speech output, screen magnification, braille technology, iPhone, iPad, tablets, Microsoft Office applications and smartphones.

Tim P.

“The Carroll Center opened up a whole new world for me. Before attending their program, I did not have my own email address. If my wife received an email for me, she would either read it to me or she would print it for me to read on my CCTV. At the Carroll Center, I was set up with my own email address. Now, I can read emails at my leisure. The [Carroll Center] has given me the confidence and tools to go out in the work force and prove myself to potential employers.”

Training is offered in our state-of-the-art training center in Newton, Massachusetts as well as in your local office, school or home or through e-learning instruction delivered over the internet. Group and individualized instruction are offered, so whether you are a new user, have just upgraded your system or need to learn a specific software program, we can create a program just for you.

ONE-DAY SMALL GROUP TECHNOLOGY COURSES

This series of one-day, small group (maximum of 3 to 4 participants) computer courses is geared towards individuals that need refreshing on topic-specific material and is offered on a rolling basis.

From learning about the differences between screen readers to getting an introduction to select programs in the Microsoft Office suite, there’s something for every interest and skill level. Instructors will use the most recent version of JAWS, Windows 10, and Microsoft Office 2016. To supplement training, participants will receive a thumb drive with a series of audio and text files to serve as reference materials. To view a list of topics, dates and times, please click here.

Events

BASIC COMPUTING

This 2-week program is for individuals who are novice computer users, new to using computers with assistive technology, or are wishing to make the transition from low vision tools like screen magnification software to screen readers.

This course provides basic training in the use of the Windows operating system, Microsoft Word for preparing documents, Outlook for emailing, and web browsing. Participants must type 20 words per minute (WPM) with 90% accuracy, have note taking abilities/devices and read/write English. We strongly encourage students to have a personal email address and a computer or laptop for use at home upon completion of their training. All instruction is with the latest versions of: JAWS for Windows, ZoomText Fusion, or ZoomText Magnifier/Reader programs. Classes are offered monthly.

INTENSIVE COMPUTING

This 4-week program provides clients with an intermediate level of skills in the Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint with screen readers or screen enlargement programs.

This course is ideal for students in college or individuals who need to increase or upgrade their skills for work or future employment. Attendees will also increase web browsing skills and use Acrobat Reader and scanning software. Participants must type 30 wpm with 90% accuracy, have basic computer skills, use email and can create documents.

COMPUTING FOR EMPLOYMENT

For adults seeking competitive employment, this 6-week program combines in-depth computer instruction in various applications with job searching skills. Computer topics covered include all those in the four-week intensive course, but with added job seeking components.

Extensive vocational development classes are also an integral part of this training program, helping participants to clarify and pursue their vocational goals. Employment-related topics include; benefits, disclosure and accommodations, interviewing, online job applications, networking, resume & cover letter preparation, and presenting oneself. Together with Carroll Center for the Blind employment specialists, each participant develops an action plan for getting a job.

CUSTOMIZED APPLE TRAINING

For individuals who use Apple products we offer customized training for built-in accessibility features such as Zoom (a screen magnification application) and Voiceover (a screen reader application) which make these devices attractive to consumers with low or no vision. Refreshable braille can also be taught.

Instruction is available for the MacBook and iMac computers, iPhones, and iPads. We also provide training to professionals who work with children and adults who are visually impaired. Three-hour classes for iPhone or iPad instruction is also available.

CUSTOMIZED ON-SITE TRAINING

Let us come to your office to provide instruction on your work station. Ideal when your work tasks involve specific software or applications.

Adaptation and training in specialized software programs is often necessary for employees with visual impairments. Sometimes the most effective solution is to conduct on-site training. Our technical staff have conducted on-site training in a wide array of settings, including hospitals, customer service sites, and state agencies.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENTS

Individuals with vision loss and changes in vision can benefit from assessments that evaluate the best assistive technology solutions for you. Assessments can be completed in half to full days with our assistive technology staff who have access to a wide variety of equipment.

Solutions may include screen magnification, speech output, voice input, purchase of an iPhone or iPad/Android, or a combination of devices and software applications.

Assessments are conducted by Robert McGillivray, Certified Low Vision Therapist (CLVT) and Heather Thomas, Assistive Technology Instructor. Together, the team brings over 60 years of experience to the evaluation process. Assessments are conducted at the Carroll Center or at the work site.

About Bob McGillivray

As a CLVT, Bob focuses his time with clients on evaluating the effectiveness of low vision devices, techniques and technologies in supporting their personal needs, while also looking at their visual efficiency while trying a variety devices. In the clinical setting at the Carroll Center, Bob is able to evaluate and demonstrate a multitude of devices and technologies he has on hand. When clients are interested in a specific device that is not regularly kept in the clinic, Bob is often able to borrow specific devices for trial during the assessment.

About Heather Thomas

As an Assistive Technology Instructor, Heather has gained a practical understanding of the strengths and limitations of specific assistive technology software and hardware devices after years of training. Heather works with consumers to determine the most appropriate combination of tools that will allow them to avoid eye strain and complete tasks in a timely fashion. She also helps to identify current skill levels and training needs in order to help individuals complete their work as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Through observations, discussions of goals and preferences, and demonstrations of equipment, Heather shares recommendations for devices, modifications and training with consumers, teachers, and sponsoring agencies.

ECARROLL TECHNOLOGY INSTRUCTION

Can’t attend a training course face to face? Need instruction in a specific application on your phone or computer? Our eCarroll Technology Instruction is the perfect solution for you.

eCarroll Remote Technology Instruction brings technology training directly to blind and visually impaired individuals in the comfort of any location; whether it be in the home, workplace or school setting. We use Zoom Meeting, an easy-to-use and accessible video and web conferencing software accessed by a link in an email, to offer individualized instruction in a wide range of areas. All remote trainees will need a computer with Windows 10 and a built-in microphone, internet access, recent versions of JAWS (no older than JAWS 18) or NVDA and Microsoft 2016 or Office 365 for those topics. Users should have at least beginner-level JAWS skills. Instruction is delivered in 30-minute to 2-hour blocks of time.