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Success Stories 3

“Touch Tank” Puts Technology in the Hands of Seniors


NY1 Airs Piece on OATS Event

A standing-room-only crowd greeted OATS at the Council Senior Center in Manhattan for the launch of the city’s first “Technology Touch Tank” for older adults. The event, co-sponsored by City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, offered seniors the chance to handle a variety of technology devices in a friendly, supportive environment. Cable news station NY1 ran a segment on the event.

Dozens of participants roamed among the different stations, trying out digital cameras, laptops, iPods, and DVD players. OATS staff and volunteers were on hand to demonstrate equipment, answer questions, and give people a chance to try out the unfamiliar devices. “Older people have no support network to introduce them to new technology,” said one 64-year-old woman at the event. “This is a wonderful way to learn.”

OATS Director Tom Kamber and Councilwoman Brewer spoke to the crowd of the importance of exploring technology. “Technology can give seniors the tools to live healthier, more connected lives,” said Councilwoman Brewer. After the presentation, seniors took digital photos, listened to MP3 files, clicked on Web pages and worked the remote for the DVD player as Casablanca played on the screen. The afternoon concluded with a raffle, as two seniors won free USB jump drives, and one received a copy of Abby Stokes’ book, It’s Never Too Late to Learn to Love Your Computer.

The Touch Tank at Council Senior Center was the first of a series of technology expos sponsored by OATS. Other events have included a senior technology day at the Sony Style store on Madison Avenue, a field trip to CompUSA for OATS computer class participants, and a Touch Tank event at Goddard-Riverside Community Center that was attended by over 100 seniors.

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