Opengate is seeking donors who would like to provide us with tablets, either new or used, any brand. We have seen improvements across the board for our consumers who already use tablets, as well as the fun they have when visiting the local Microsoft store where they are immersed in various games and programs.
We are looking for businesses, corporations or individuals who would like to help us make this possible and offer tablets to those whose families are unable to purchase them, as well as provide tablets for staff members who care for them.
Opengate staff members working directly with individuals are required to document their time with them for purposes of quality checks on data and billing procedures. By using tablets and recording their reports electronically it allows them to streamline the process and save time.
Tablets allow our staff to more efficiently assist clients with math skills, language skills, hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. In addition, they can also assign tasks for individuals through apps, building a sense of independence and responsibility to those who complete them. There are various ways of giving visual and audio rewards for completed tasks.
Small and easy to use, tablets are lightweight and have the capability to function as a mini computer, and have quickly become one of the most popular ways to access the internet.
Opengate residents’ favorite apps are those that pertain to social stories and learning social skills. For entertainment purposes, our residents use tablets for listening to music, watching music videos, face to face contact through video conferencing with family members, and emailing friends.
Benefits to all individuals with disabilities from portable tablets are diverse. They can operate on the go and not at a stationary desk or table, they can be carried with the person and used anywhere with a wifi or mobile connection.
It’s easy to download apps that are relative to each individual’s abilities, and many apps will enhance the skills they are learning or may already have. Games and videos stimulate the mind, improve hand/eye coordination and improve fine motor skills.
Additionally, tablets encourage a sense of accomplishment for consumers who can independently select a movie or game of their choice because the swiping action of the screen is easier to maneuver than buttons on a computer keyboard or remote, thus limiting visual shifting which slows down their ability to navigate successfully.
Text to speech options allow those who are limited in verbal skills to be more self-sufficient and assists with improving communication. There are apps which help the visual and hearing impaired, as well as those designed to advance socialization skills. For a list of popular apps created specifically for the disabled community visit 7 of the Best Apps for People with Disabilities.
Although software and tablet technology evolves at a rapid pace, we are able to utilize some of the older technology and enjoy the benefits. Used tablets in good condition can be cleaned and refurbished with relevant apps added.
If you are in a position to donate new or used tablets to Opengate, please contact:
Randi L. Rios-Castro
Chief Operating Officer
914-277-5350 ext 1113