Empowering Blindness through Lifelong Learning
How Cheryl and Her Husband Navigate Technology and Expand Their Skills with GetSetUp
When Cheryl, a 68-year-old part-time employee at Weight Watchers and home-based craft artisan, stumbled upon GetSetUp, she found a solution to help her husband, who had recently been declared blind. Cheryl's husband, who had been diagnosed with glaucoma, was unable to navigate technology as well as he used to. However, GetSetUp has proven to be a "godsend" for him. It's allowing him to access various learning resources, including technology and exercise classes.
Cheryl had been looking for resources on the NJ Commission for the Blind site to support him when she first heard about GetSetUp as a benefit offered by New Jersey Human Services. Little did she know that the platform would offer much more than just technology classes but become a valuable resource for life skills as well.
"GetSetUp has been a godsend. My husband and I have been able to access so many learnings," Cheryl says. "In the beginning, my husband wasn't really into this stuff. But now, every day, he says to me, 'What did you sign me up for today?' It's really good and filling our time."
Prior to finding GetSetUp, Cheryl said her husband had few outlets other than his music to spend his time. Now instead of waiting for the next doctor appointment or a trip to the grocery store, he's enjoying classes.
Technology Classes for Everyone
“I didn’t even know there was an Alexa app that could do so many things prior to taking the class.”
Alexa now keeps Cheryl's shopping lists, and the couple has learned how to use the app to its full potential.
With technology advancing rapidly, it can be difficult for anyone to keep up, especially older adults who may need more knowledge or access to technology.
GetSetUp offers technology classes for all levels. Tech classes that Cheryl has taken include Alexa Beginner and Intermediate, iPad Basics, and an Apple Basics class that helped her understand her newest Mac computer.
"I got a new Mac, and it just sat in the shipping box for over a month until I took this class. Previously I just bumbled around on my tech devices, figuring things out as I went. I used the computer for the internet and email, not much more. Taking that class really helped me to know where my files are and what to click on. It was wonderful," she says.
The classes have sparked a new interest in security for Cheryl. She and her husband now have a camera in their kitchen for added security when they travel.
“We got this camera and let the dogsitter know we are watching. We can communicate, and I felt more secure than leaving our dog with someone new and unable to see what they are doing in our home.”
In her class on Alexa, she also learned about Alexa subscriptions. Alexa has options for alerts when traveling to help monitor for potential fires or other problems at home. The couple also recently took a class on the ring doorbell to understand better if that is a tool they could use to enhance their security at home.
In addition to technology classes, Cheryl and her husband have taken classes on recycled crafts, exercise, and travel. Her husband, who loves music, has been able to enjoy music trivia and other classes that interest him. Cheryl has also referred a friend interested in learning to paint to classes since she enjoyed the recycled crafts class. With GetSetUp's easy navigation and support, Cheryl feels more confident in exploring new classes and acquiring new skills.
A community of learners with shared interests
GetSetUp has a strong sense of community, where learners interact with others from all over the world. The Guides know the people in the class and welcome them back, making the learning experience intimate and community-based. The community aspect of GetSetUp has also been a highlight for Cheryl. Cheryl notes that the teacher seems to know the people who attend the classes and that it feels like a close-knit community.
"It seems very community-based and intimate that people know people so well that way from all over the world," Cheryl says.
Cheryl has found the Guides are all great and positive. They ask great questions and seem very knowledgeable about their subject matter.
“There hasn’t been one Guide that I haven't enjoyed the class. Even if there are technical issues, they don’t get flustered and handle classes professionally.”
The platform is easy to navigate and offers support from booking to after-classes through notes. Cheryl appreciates that the hour before a class, she receives an email notification.
"GetSetUp is really easy to navigate, and I love the email reminders. Plus, support has been very friendly and personable when I have had issues that need solving," she says.
Cheryl has recommended GetSetUp to her friends because she has taken a number of classes and has found them to be extremely beneficial. "
All the classes have been so good," she says.
GetSetUp's partnership with New Jersey Human Services has transformed Cheryl and her husband’s learning experiences. Together they have improved their technology skills, as well as gained new knowledge and skills in various areas, including recycled crafts and travel. With its community aspect, easy navigation, and support, GetSetUp is an excellent resource for individuals and families looking to improve their lives.