As a result of a generous gift from a local funder, Disability Network Southwest Michigan has recently installed an accessible computer lab in our Kalamazoo office. The computer lab will provide increased opportunity for people with disabilities to access information, services, communication, socialization, and media. The computer lab is open to anyone upon agreeing to the guidelines and procedures.
Disability Network staff can provide basic instruction to help people get started using the computers. If someone requires further training, they can make an appointment.
Breaking Down Barriers to Technology
Accessibility is vital to enjoying all aspects of life, yet many barriers still exist for people with disabilities. True “access” is more than just physical access to buildings, stores and transportation. Access to information, communications, services, employment and education are also key components to being able to fully participate in community life. In today’s world, technology is often the key to accessing information whether it be directions to a job interview, information on a new doctor or connecting with social groups.
Assistive technology, such as screen readers, large print keyboards and adaptive mouse pads, are required for some people with disabilities to access the technology they need. These items can be expensive and are not realistic for many budgets. The computer lab at Disability Network provides accessibility options not typically found in other community locations offering public access to computers.
We have four workstations, two of which have a variety of accessible features including touch screen monitors, headsets and microphones, a trackball mouse, trackpads, an EZ See keyboard, JAWS screen reader software, Zoomtext, and Dragon Naturally Speaking voice commands and dictation.
You can find a complete list of accessibility features and more details about our computer lab on our website under “Services.” If you have questions about our computer lab, please contact our Kalamazoo office at 269-345-1516.