Company works to adapt those with special needs to technology

JACKSON, Tenn. — Did you know that you can ask Alexa to do way more than just make your grocery list or answer a question?

And that the iPhone even has ways to connect to your hearing aids and read texts out loud to you?

Technology might be second nature to you. But to others, it might not be so easy to use, or to know what to use it for. Now a company is working on changing that.

“We always have been focused on technology, but during the pandemic, it became really obvious that we really need to push forward faster, and be more intentional about it,” said Precious Myers Brown, Chief Innovation Officer at St. John’s Community Services.

Wednesday, St. John’s teamed up with the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Development Disabilities and the Charles Lea Center to learn how to personalize technology so that the elderly and people with disabilities can live more independent lives.

“The ultimate goal is to make sure people can control their own lives, live the lives they may dream about or would dream about if they knew there was an opportunity for them to do it as independently as possible,” Brown said.

Specifically, how to do this with limited resources using things like the iPhone, Amazon Alexa and other mainstream products.

“So if you like to read books, we’re learning how to use technology to help you learn how to read a book independently,” Brown said.

And in a time when staffing is limited and families are trying to limit contact with loved ones, this may be more important than ever.

“That way we can make sure people are never without services, no matter what’s going on out in the community,” Brown said.

They’re hoping this is something from the pandemic that will stick around.

St. John’s is based out of West Tennessee, but they have facilities across the area, including the Harlan Morris Retirement Home in Trenton.

Categories: Local News, News
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