The IT generation has NOT deserted the needs of the ageing
As a teenager Ben Spratt became acquainted with old age loneliness through his Grandad, living in a NSW Aged Care Hostel. At age twenty, in September this year, Ben and his partner Lew started up Golden Age Technology, a business that provides products and services using ‘assistive/adaptive technology’ to older people in the community. Both Ben and Lew have casual work while they are getting Golden Age Technology off the ground.
What does www.goldenagenet.tk do?
It acknowledges that through the advances of medical science men and women of 60 are “just beginning middle age” and suggests how ironic it would be if the best educated generation in history failed to benefit from the technology created by their own generation.
The bad news may be getting old but the good news is there has never been a better time to do it!
Needs are defined
They define ‘the problem’ emphasising that the problem is not the impairment, rather, the conflict between the ‘accepted way of performing a task’ and the limits imposed by the impairment.
A solution is worked out
Golden Age Technology can install, configure and modify or perhaps design and build a ‘solution’. They have some agreements that allow them to provide refurbished computers to eligible customers at most affordable prices, some of which may be funded by an advance from Centrelink.
They install and configure accessible options and other assistive components prior to delivery to the customer. Details of these systems and new assistive technologies are provided in a regular newsletter (which you can find under the Action heading).
Ben and Lew have found that although the computer industry has done much to provide accessibility features for those with disabilities, there are few mechanisms to install and configure computers for people. Most IT Support staff just do not do this type of work. The time involved could be considerable and IT Support is extremely expensive so Golden Age Technology support is designed to be cost-effective!
Special web pages
As well as setting up the computer and programs with the necessary
adaptive technology they also create a special web page for each client,
determined by their needs. The page is stored on the internet so they can
remotely update it at any time. This can also be their browser home page.
Many accessibility features are built into these pages along with links to
the client’s most commonly used websites and programs. The page can also gather the latest information from around the world based on the clients’ needs and interests. In this way the client’s required information is presented in the most suitable way for them, even via speech if necessary.
Internet to mobile messaging
Golden Age Technology set their clients up with ‘Intazaar’, web to mobile messaging. The Intazaar service allows you to send up to 30 free text messages a day. There is a limited amount of advertising on their pages, and no obligations required.
Ben and Lew, as well as other reviewers of Intazaar, are stumped as to why it is a completely free service, but have been 100% satisfied with the service thus far. Similar services usually require a weekly subscription, or other form of payment. Clearly Intazaar is a winner, allowing costs to be kept to a minimum for clients.
A current priority is to enhance the quality of their speech generators (text to speech voices).
A bit about Ben
Ben is one one of those young people who has been ‘right into’ computers from an early age. He did Microsoft and TAFE training outside school hours, then a ‘modern the apprenticeship’ in I.T. via a Group Training Company specialising in disabilities, and over the last seven months he has bowled over a 2 year IT Diploma. He has now clearly – and sensitively – identified a ‘gap in the market’.
An excellent idea tackling a growing market – well done.