Bridging the Tech Gap: Helping Families in a Millennial-Based World

Let’s face it. Technology can be daunting, even for those who use it on a daily basis. The terminology alone can cause a lot of confusion: PC, Mac, tablet, iPad, Chromebook, wi-fi, router, Android, iOS, streaming, download, video conferencing, Zoom, Google Meet, etc. The list seems to go on for miles.

When we use these terms and technologies on a daily basis, we get to know what they mean and how they work. However, for those who have never used them, it can be overwhelming. Of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, technology has become necessary and something needed by individuals to complete basic tasks.

At Legacy Empowerment Services, we pride ourselves on being a millennial-based agency. While we absolutely enjoy face-to-face sessions and look forward to our time spent in-person with participants, safety is of utmost importance and we have adjusted to ensure that participants and their families receive our services and remain safe at the same time.

For participants and families who have never used the technology, the entire process seems like an insurmountable hurdle. Add in the cost of acquiring new technology, and well, families and participants feel overwhelmed. This is where Legacy Empowerment Services can help and bridge the technology gap.

When we speak with a family and participant before starting our services, we ask about which technologies the participant has available and how well they understand the technology. What we are looking for is a way to communicate remotely in the most effective way possible. We want the participant to get the most out of our sessions and services. It would not be helpful if the participant spends all their time learning how to set up their laptop or tablet instead of learning the things that have been outlined in their individualized service plan. Legacy will also assess the level of need your loved one may have and find an assistive technology that will help them in the best way possible. This may include closed-captioning for the hearing impaired; or braille and other sight-assistance technology for the sight-impaired.

If a participant and family informs Legacy that they do not have access to a computer or tablet, and/or do not have internet access, we will work with the family to acquire the technology necessary to move forward with our lessons. Naturally, the next factor is the cost of acquiring the necessary equipment.

If a family and participant cannot afford to buy the new technology, Legacy has been able to help many participants through grants. We have acquired numerous tablets and laptops, along with routers, to help the participant begin their journey into remote learning. Legacy will help set up the new devices and test them prior to release to the participant and their families. We will then train the participant and the families on how to use the various technologies in order to achieve the best user experience.

Legacy makes all of this seamless for the participant and their families. Once we ascertain what the participant needs, we look to see if we have the technology in-house and set it up for them. Legacy will set up the equipment to customize it to the specific participant; and the instructor or regional supervisor will deliver it to the participant or the participant’s family. If any additional setup is needed inside the premises and the participant and family are not confident in setting it up, Legacy will do it for them.

At that point, we will walk the participant and/or family through the training on the new technology. A lot of times it is as simple as getting used to using video meeting software, such as Zoom and Google Meet. Whatever the technology may be, Legacy makes it easy for the participant to get started; and through usage, the participant and the family will become more and more comfortable using the technology on a regular basis.

Legacy Empowerment Services prides itself on being able to adapt to an ever-changing world and environment. We look forward to working through the obstacles with our participants and making their experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Legacy has seen a number of different types of scenarios; and has been able to accommodate participants and their families no matter how high the hurdle.

At Legacy Empowerment Services, we are always learning new and exciting technological advances and will continue to utilize these and help families and participants bridge the technology gap in this millennial-based world.

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