Technology Classes Available for Visually Impaired
The Ocean County Library has partnered with the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center to provide technology classes to residents 55 years and older who are experiencing vision loss. Programs will be available at the Toms River branch, at 101 Washington St.
“I would like to extend my appreciation along with the entire Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders to the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center for giving us the opportunity to offer these beneficial services to our residents,” said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Library. “This is yet another important tool that will help us connect with the community, providing valuable assistance to our citizens that are blind and visually impaired. This will help make a positive difference in their lives.”
“We are thrilled to partner with CBVI and TBBC to offer technology classes to the growing population of adults with changes in vision,” said Ocean County Library Director Susan M. Quinn. “These classes will transform the lives of our customers by enhancing their skills with sending email, browsing the internet and so much more.”
The classes and services are offered at no cost through the Library Equal Access Program sponsored by CBVI and TBBC. LEAP has placed computers and iPads equipped with magnification and speech software at the library.
Training is provided by Advancing Opportunities, a leading provider of assistive technology services in New Jersey. To register for the classes, call Advancing Opportunities at 888-322-1918, extension 595.
“The ultimate goal of the LEAP program is to promote independence and to remove the digital divide for older adults with vision impairments,” said Dan Frye, executive director of CBVI. “LEAP places state-of-the-art technology and training in public libraries to serve people closer to where they live. These classes for those new to iPads or assistive software will expand skills and opportunities.”
“Public libraries are learning centers for new technology,” said Adam Szczepaniak, deputy state librarian and director of TBBC. “This partnership boosts that level of learning to include not only assistive software for those with vision impairments, but training, as well, which is much needed by those who need a better way to read.” —E.E.