Photo of an Amazon Alexa

We all know how much technology is a part of life in 2017, in ways we might never have imagined just a few years ago – the many uses range from using a computer to do your shopping to using your smart phone to control the lights in your home.  Did you know that the same technology we use in our lives everyday can be equally, if not more useful to people with blindness and visual impairments?

At Friedman Place you will find many devices that help people with blindness and visual impairments  live daily and stay in touch with the world outside of our walls, some are very high-tech.  There are also low-tech options too such as canes and hand-held magnifiers, even our building with its special lighting and different types of flooring are low-tech solutions for helping residents with their daily lives. 

Computers and related technology devices such as smart phones, tablets and ‘smart speakers’ (such as Amazon Alexa) can be found all over our building.  Friedman Place has a Computer Lab with Windows computers, each with adaptive screen reading software such as JAWS (Job Access With Speech) and NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access). A computer instructor teaches residents how  to access the Internet, use email programs, online shopping, downloading music  - all of the types of activities that the average person with sight would use a computer for!

In addition to computers and other technology devices Friedman Place provides residents, many residents have their own gadgets.  Friedman Place provides Wifi for the whole building which provides internet access to residents with their own devices.  The Wifi also powers the Amazon Echo Alexa speakers that are located the Activity Rooms on each floor of our building.  The Echo/Alexas have become very popular and have replaced radios around the building, as they can do so much more than just play music.  Residents have been discovering how useful and fun Alexa can be, from weather updates and sports scores to audio card games, our residents are keeping Alexa busy!

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5527 North Maplewood: Chicago, IL 60625 Phone: (773) 989-9800