A Western Australian group encouraging the use of technology and smartphones for seniors has joined forces with the NRS to show how easy it can be to stay connected.
The Rockingham seniors' iPad group attended an NRS awareness session recently to learn about the NRS app and how to make relay calls using their mobile device.
The group’s founder and head teacher Sheena Edwards said it was great being able to introduce a service like the NRS to the group.
‘The session was excellent, it really raised awareness of how our members could use the relay service and the NRS app in certain situations. Once they are used to the app, we are planning a follow up session for those who are keen to learn more about the service.’
The group was founded by Sheena, a former seniors computer teacher, in 2012 after she won an iPad and had to learn to use it herself. She started a self-help group with a friend and about 12 people showed up to the first session.
Four years and a community grant later, Sheena has around 30 people between the ages of 60 and 90 attend the group each week - some having never used computers, email or the internet before.
‘I teach everything from buying an iPad to how to get the internet at home and how to use home screen apps and get free apps. We also try to fix issues that are not working for them. I emphasise online security and teach them to recognise scams during these sessions.
‘I also like to persuade the group to get some games on their iPads because this is a great way to teach them the correct way to touch the screen for a good response,’ said Sheena.
WA NRS Education Coordinator, Annabel Vasquez, delivered the session to the group. ‘It was a really positive experience, it’s great to meet a group of seniors who are eager to learn about new technology and keep up to date with all the different ways to communicate these days. Our training session focused quite heavily on captioned relay phone calls and how they can work so well on their iPads,’ she said.