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Using Computers in Later Years

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Joe Hockey has been telling us all how society is ageing and people over 70 years are the fastest growing demographic in Australia. We may be living longer but for many people it is not without challenges.


Monday 12 May 2014

Older and Wiser: Using Computers in Later Years

Joe Hockey has been telling us all how society is ageing and people over 70 years are the fastest growing demographic in Australia. We may be living longer but for many people it is not without challenges.

It is estimated that over 500,000 Australians have low vision and it is predicted that this number will reach 700,000 by 2020. Low vision is a visual impairment, not correctable by standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, that interferes with a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

So how are people with Low Vision going to use computers, increasingly the major source of information and services?

Luckily there are now a range of assistive tools that can help, even for people that have never used a computer before. Just having a keyboard with large print and high contrast colours can be a good start (www.quantumrlv.com.au).

Large Print Keyboards for PC or Mac

Large Print Keyboards for PC or Mac

For some, it may be right back to basics in learning how to type, and a new talking program called TypeAbility has been developed for the beginner with little or no vision (http://www.yesaccessible.com/). It provides spoken guidance and feedback for every step of the way. If typing is not really your thing then you can try Dragon voice recognition and tell the computer what to do (http://australia.nuance.com/dragon/index.htm).

Windows and iOS computers both have some good tools for assisting people with Low Vision, however, if you need more, there are dedicated software programs that will magnify the screen, including all menus, cursors and web pages. Zoomtext will both magnify and read out any information on the screen, and there are versions for both PC’s and MAC (www.quantumrlv.com.au).

Many older Australians have an in-built resistance to computers, though often it is the only way they can communicate with their grandchildren, or navigate all the information they need to explore Aged Care options.

There is now a product called GUIDE which is designed specifically for someone who has never used a computer. GUIDE provides the user with a simple numbered list of options, instead of having to learn different programs for different functions. GUIDE talks to the user and prompts them every step of the way, and all information can be displayed in large print and in any colour combinations. So when you start the computer, GUIDE will begin by saying, Press 1 to write and email, Press 2 to write a letter and so on. Detailed instructions are given every step of the way.

GUIDE- Main menu screen.

GUIDE- Designed specifically for someone who has never used a computer.

Thanks to assistive technology, losing your vision no longer means you can’t continue to read, use a computer and access information when and how you need it.

For further information contact:

Tim Connell 0407 917 073

Quantum: Reading Learning Vision

info@quantumrlv.com.au

1 300 883 853

About Quantum RLV

For over 30 years Quantum RLV has been a developer and distributor of assistive technology options for people with a Print Disability (low vision, blindness and dyslexia). They are the largest national supplier of assistive technology solutions to individuals, education departments, government and corporations.

Quantum partners and sponsors

Quantum partners and sponsors

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