by Jen Lortie, UCP Assistive Technology Specialist

In mid-September, assistive technology specialists at UCP of Eastern CT worked with Connecticut resident Nancy Robertson through the “Stay Connected” program to provide her with computer training, so she could connect with her friends and community during COVID-19.

One big challenge? Ms. Robertson had never used a computer before. Thanks to the “Stay Connected” program, Ms. Robertson was provided with a new computer. Next, we connected with her by phone to provide in-depth training on how to use it.

Training began with the basics, explaining that laptop computers have batteries and must be plugged in every so often to charge the battery. This was followed by training on the keyboard layout. During this training, Ms. Robertson asked, “Where is the space bar? I do not see anything labeled S-P-A-C-E!”

Next, we got her logged into her Wi-Fi. We reviewed internet basics, such as how to search for websites and save bookmarks. Ms. Robertson was interested in joining her friends in an online Bridge Club, so we located the correct Bridge website and bookmarked it.

During a recent follow-up and wellness call with Ms. Robertson, she informed us that she is now playing Bridge with her friends online, twice a day. She also told us that she had purchased a book online!

Ms. Robertson said she “really enjoys using her computer to stay connected with friends and participate in virtual activities.” She’s grateful for the Stay Connected program during the long days of COVID-19.