Free computer: Is there a program that provides free computers to seniors with vision loss?
Is there a program that provides free computers to seniors with vision loss?
Products mentioned in our answer below are provided to inform you about the types of technologies available and have not been evaluated by CanAssist. They may or may not be appropriate for your particular situation. Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support.
Having access to a computer or smartphone is so important these days for being able to stay connected with others and being able to find all kinds of information.
Your intended use for a device – whether for personal use, work or volunteering – will help determine which approach might be best for you. Here are some options you may wish to explore.
- The Canadian Federation of the Blind has a Technology Share Program in which members restore donated computers and give them to blind people who need this equipment. CFB also provides information about how to secure funding for adaptive software, such as screen-reading programs. Call toll-free 1-800-619-8789 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CNIB has a program called Phone It Forward, which provides people with sight loss with a smartphone and appropriate training. While you specifically mentioned a computer, you might consider a smartphone as these devices accomplish many of the same tasks. To register for this and other CNIB programs, please call 1-833-554-5020.
- WorkBC Assistive Technology Services provides technologies and support to individuals with disabilities to assist them to gain and sustain employment or volunteer situations.
- The BC Association for Individualized Technology and Supports for People with Disabilities (BCITS) has a program called Technology for Independent Living. This program doesn’t supply free computers; instead, the program’s technicians use a variety of electronic devices to assist people in accessing their home environment, such as Google Home, accessibility switches and other environmental controls.
- Free Geek is a Vancouver-area organization that specializes in computer recycling. They have a variety of channels for acquiring a computer, either for free, at a reduced cost or in exchange for volunteer hours.