Road to CSUN – Day 1 Recap – A Focus on Seniors

Gary and I had a great first day on the Road to CSUN with two stops focusing on seniors. Our first was just down the street from the Microsoft headquarters in Bellevue, WA where we demoed the accessibility features in Windows for a group from SeniorNet.

SeniorNet is a national organization dedicated to enhancing the computer literacy of seniors. The Puget Sound chapter is a volunteer organization that offers more than a dozen courses for seniors on topics ranging from Windows 7, photo editing, Social networking and managing finances. You can find out more about the programs, services and classes offered through the SeniorNet Puget Sound website.

Gary and I were a little nervous prior to our arrival. Since today was a holiday we weren't sure how many people would show up to see a demo about Windows. Our worries were soon assuaged as we circled looking for parking in the overflowing lot. Over 100 seniors had crowded the meeting room, a record gathering according to one of the SeniorNet staffers. It is always energizing to present to a group of people who are attentive, engaged, and full of questions. My demos of Windows 7 Ease of Access center and Speech Recognition went flawlessly and resulted in a few rounds of applause from the audience. After spending around 2 hours with the folks at SeniorNet we started our journey southward to Tacoma.

After a brief lunch we arrived at the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Center (TLRC) in Tacoma, WA. TLRC is spread out over 28 acres and has facilities that provide Independent Living, Assisted Care and Skilled Nursing services primarily to seniors.

Upon arriving at TLRC it was clear that technology is a focus of the program. Gary and I toured the Technology Rehab Lab where residents can participate in technology based therapy programs using software from “It’s Never Too Late” and with the Kinect for Xbox 360. One of the staff members shared with us that since adding Kinect to the rehab center more family members have begun participating in the therapy regimen with the patients. The games he said, have really been able to bring the entire family into the rehabilitation process.

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