Technology Helps Foster Connection and Independence
Words by Olivia Minnier, Photos by Kelly Jacoby
After getting his first iPhone last year, a Polaris area man has seen a boost of confidence and is thriving while living independently.
Jimmy Jones, 52, has been able to become more independent through the adoption of technology. Since he communicates verbally and has a very soft-spoken demeanor, the addition of technology has helped Jimmy connect with others more in his day-to-day life.
Through the addition of texting and calling on his new iPhone, he can communicate more often with the staff at LifeBuilders where he attends a day program five times a week.
“It has been so great for him to be able to do this. This has also opened his ability to communicate with other members more than just at Life Builders. Since Jimmy can be quiet or shy at times, this has opened methods for him to have more opportunities to talk with others. It is great to see him learning and being able to chat,” said Deedra Olney, Director of LifeBuilders.
Outside of his day-to-day interactions with the staff and other peers at LifeBuilders, he has been able to communicate more with his family and keep them up to date on what is happening in his life.
“Jimmy has always been independent, however, the technology allows him to access information quickly, easily, and consistently communicate with his family. He is happier now that he can use his phone to call us anytime, he wants, (use) the computer to view his favorite subjects, and his portable cd player to listen to music,” said his sister, Paulette Horn.
Horn said that the additional technology has brought Jimmy joy outside of the ease of communication with others. He can keep up with his New York sports teams, read articles online, and is learning to use Google to research topics.
Now that he has learned how to use the iPhone, Jimmy will soon be getting an Amazon Echo and is looking forward to using voice commands to easily access movies, recipes, sports, and other types of media he enjoys.
The Echo will also allow him to utilize his verbal communication skills.
For Jimmy, the addition of technology into his life has not only given him new routes of communicating with others; but has provided an extra layer of confidence and security living alone, and has allowed his personality to shine even more.
As Horn said, “Jimmy is a happy person the technology just enhances it.”
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Technology Resource Feature
Ohio's Tech Ambassadors
Ohio’s Tech Ambassadors are a resource on how Supportive Technology can be used at home, at school, at work, and in the community. Tech Ambassadors share their personal experiences through peer-to-peer mentoring sessions, either in person or virtually.
Request a meeting with one of Ohio’s Tech Ambassadors here: https://ohiotechambassadors.org/request
Assistive Technology Library
Interested in trying assistive technology to see if it meets your needs? Borrow a device from the DCBDD Assistive Technology Lending Library! Our current inventory includes:
- Echo Show
- Echo Dot
- Ring Video Doorbell
- Smart Plug
- Wyze Camera
- Electronic Reading Aid
- Miku Monitor
- Schlage Electronic Deadbolt
- Clip Different
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Ohio Regional Youth Leadership Forums
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