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Older Adults Technology Services

Mission

Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages, trains and supports older adults in using technology to improve their quality of life and enhance their social and civic engagement.

Digital technologies computers, digital cameras, mobile phones, the Internet have become basic tools for daily living. Unfortunately, many older adults are reluctant to use them, resulting in increased isolation, limited access to information, higher costs for goods and services, and fewer opportunities for public and civic participation. We can say we are acting like anti aging solution.

OATS is working to help bridge the technology gap for older adults using a strategy to:

  • engage older adults in learning about digital devices and how they can improve their lives
  • train them to use computers and other technology tools in a relaxed, senior-friendly environment
  • support seniors in using technology to connect to family and friends, improve health care, get needed services, earn and manage money, and enjoy a higher standard of living.

Since 2004, OATS has offered programs at senior centers, community technology labs, and other locations around the city. In just two years, the organization has taught 491 free classes and special seminars to over 1170 seniors at nearly 20 locations across New York City.

 

Funders

OATS is grateful for generous financial and in-kind support from the following:

  • ConEdison
  • IBM
  • Independence Community Foundation
  • JP Morgan Chase Foundation
  • Lawyers Alliance for New York City
  • Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, LLP
  • Morgan Stanley
  • City Councilmember Gale Brewer
  • City Councilmember Bill DeBlasio
  • City Councilmember Alan Gerson
  • City Councilmember Annabel Palma
  • City Councilmember Albert Vann
  • North Fork Bank
  • United Way of New York City

…and more than 100 individual donors!

Partners

  • Blue Tiger Democrats
  • Bronx River Community Center
  • Comp USA
  • Dr. Betty Shabazz Complex Tenants
  • Castle Hill Senior Center
  • Council Senior Center
  • FEGS
  • Jewish Assn. of Services for the Aging
  • Jewish Home and Hospital Association
  • J&R
  • JPAC for Older Adults
  • McManus Club
  • Medgar Evers Houses Tenants Association
  • Mount Hope Housing Company
  • Mt. Sinai Linkage House
  • New Visions
  • NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Per Scholas
  • Phipps WFTCC
  • Prospect Park YWCA
  • RAIN Bailey
  • RAIN Eastchester
  • RAIN Parkchester
  • Sony Style
  • Soundview Community in Action
  • Statewide Senior Action Council
  • The SUNY ATTAIN Program
  • Tilden Club
  • Union Settlement
  • University Settlement

 

Board of Directors

Jennifer Weiss, Chairperson
Author and Senior Citizen Advocate, formerly of Friends and Relatives of the Institutionalized Aged and Medicare Rights Center

Genevieve Cervera
Retiree, Senior Citizen Activist (JPAC for Older Adults, Institute for Senior Action), Member of Manhattan Community Board Six

Hilda Frost
Financial Advisor, Global Private Client Group, Merrill Lynch

Anurag Heda
Senior Manager, New Product Development, American Express

Thomas Kamber
OATS Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Peter Morales
Owner, PM Tax and Financial Services

Ralph Porter
Retired Community Development Leader (MBD Development, Comprehensive Community Revitalization Project)

Rob Salkowitz
Technology Strategist and Consultant (Microsoft, HP/Compaq)

 

Staff

Thomas Kamber, Executive Director

Tom Kamber is a social entrepreneur and nonprofit executive with fifteen years experience in social sector administration, public policy, politics and communications. He served as the first New York director of programs for One Economy Corporation, was the founding director of Urban Homesteading Assistance Board’s Brooklyn Center, and was a senior brand strategist at D’Arcy Advertising. He has worked extensively in the nonprofit housing and technology fields, has a strong background in website design and information architecture, and is widely published on urban affairs and public policy topics. Tom received a B.A. from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center, and has six years’ experience teaching at the college level. He currently teaches a course on social entrepreneurship in the Barnard-Columbia Urban Studies Department.

Dee Derr-Daugherty, Program Director

Dee Derr-Daugherty has worked with innovative technology education programs for five years. As director of the nation’s second largest technology camp for young people at iD Tech Camps’ Princeton University location for the past three summers, Dee helped nearly 2000 young people explore new technologies, including computers, video and multimedia production. Dee has taught documentary production and video game design, and has written curriculum for multimedia courses for youth and adults. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer placing technology coordinators in low-income schools throughout the country and worked at the National Institute for People with Disabilities as a technical writer and trainer. Dee received a B.A. in Integrative Arts from Penn State University.

Renee Martinez, Program Associate

Renee Martinez has worked in nonprofit and social activism for eight years. Before moving to New York in 2004, Renee worked in operations and community event planning for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Prior to that, she organized and led over 200 retreats serving nearly 8,000 youth for NET Ministries, a group dedicated to youth ministry and community development. Renee currently is working toward her BA in Liberal Arts at New School University, with a concentration in City and Urban Life which focuses on the study of city development and community organizational development. She lives in Brooklyn where she volunteers with the local youth program at St. Savior Catholic Church.

Joshua Krafchin, Development Associate

Joshua Krafchin is a technology, marketing, and strategy consultant for small- to medium-sized businesses and non-profits. He has developed and implemented marketing projects for such companies as ABC Networks, Teen People, In Style Magazine, and Lucent Technologies. Prior to joining OATS, he worked as an Analyst at Morgan Stanley and spent a year in South America consulting to FINCA International, a microfinance organization, and running a summer camp for children with SOS Children’s Villages. He is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Howard Accurso, Instructor

Howard Accurso has taught and coached a number of OATS classes, including the basic computing for older adults course at the JASA site on East 5th Street and the multilingual version of the course at the USCC / Chinatown YMCA. He is currently working with the Harlem Chapter of AARP to bring a course online at that site. Recently retired after working 25 years as a technologist on Wall Street, he applies a senior citizen’s perspective to the course and to the needs of the students. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1966, received a BA from CCNY in 1970 and a MPhil Musicology from CUNY Graduate Center in 1979. A board member of the Riverdale Choral Society, he now has the time to combine his two great loves: computers and music.