BridgingApps helps clients with a variety of technology-related needs, including educational workshops, assistive technology demonstrations, and individual coaching. Our blogging schedule now includes monthly “Client Stories” from our team.
We kick off this series with an account from Digital Navigator Alejandra Gonzalez, sharing her list of the many things that one visually impaired client has learned.
Alejandra Gonzalez: BridgingApps has been working regularly with one senior client, who is blind and has a speech impediment. She was absent during the COVID pandemic period, but returned in 2022 to resume services. She uses Hey Google [the Google Assistant app] on her Android phone and needed in-depth training on all the new features. She has also used our Open Lab to try out TTAP devices.
On Hey Google, we taught her to:
- Set it up on her phone
- Train it to recognize her voice and understand her through the speech impediment
- Use voice commands to make calls, send texts, and have the phone read messages aloud
- Set up the Caller ID Announcement feature so she knows who is calling, even when her phone is in silent mode
- Set reminders and add calendar events (she was particularly happy with this one, as she takes multiple medications and needed help managing them)
She’s also learned to keep her phone updated and track available storage. (This helps prevent new problems, as too many apps and too little storage can cause a phone to malfunction.) And she now knows how to save phone data by switching to Wi-Fi in public places.
We’ve helped her discover other assistive technology. In one lab session she asked about a tool that could help her read mail independently, and we found that the OrCam Reader was a great fit for her. After a BridgingApps trainer showed her how to use it, we had her fill out a 35-day loaner application to take the reader home and try it on her own time. She hadn’t known about this resource before, and told us how appreciative she was for our help finding it.
This client continues to come to BridgingApps for training and support with her Android. And she’s now exploring technology to recommend to others, starting with medication-management apps for her grandson, who has IDD.
Watch for another BridgingApps Client Story in February. You can also read about some of our client (and family and personal) experiences in earlier blog articles, such as:
- Expanding Digital Access: Making New Contacts, Looking Ahead
- Texas Children’s Hospital, Easter Seals Greater Houston, and the BridgingApps AT Lab
- Learning to Speak: When AAC Partners with Verbal Communication
- BridgingApps in the Field: What’s New in High School Digital Literacy
- The World of Adaptive Fitness
- Let’s Appreciate AI
- The Ultimate in Inclusive Attractions: Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio
- How to Navigate Changes in Digital-Tools Payment Systems