Microsoft's 'assistive technology' for NYC seniors

A joint Microsoft-City of New York-Selfhelp Community Services program is bringing the ‘senior center’ home to older persons who are largely restricted to their homes.  Working with Selfhelp’s Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing, Queens, participants received new home desktop computers, broadband connectivity, touchscreen monitors, video cameras, microphones and Skype to stay in touch; the center received two way video cameras and monitors that allow interactive teleconferencing of activities such as tai chi and painting.  Where needed, special keyboards, text readers and Windows Magnifier adapt the computer for the vision or mobility impaired.  It’s hoped that NYC’s over 300 senior centers will eventually be in this program.  The users (aged 87 to 103) testify to the value the devices bring to their lives.  And Selfhelp–founded over 70 years ago to assist Nazi victims and still caring for the greatest number of Holocaust survivors in North America–doesn’t get quite enough credit in this article for pioneering this program.  [Editor’s note:  And not for the first time–Selfhelp was one of the earliest users–2004 or 2005–of the QuietCare telecare system.  Donna]  Business Week article.   Updated 22 March:  Video from NY1 (local cable TV).