Building on Tonari Gumi’s popular tablet computer classes for seniors, Tonari Gumi has taken this one step further and created what it is calling a “Tech2Go” (Technology to Go) program where seniors will be trained to help other seniors to use tablet computers, connect to the internet, and send photos and e-mails.
Gaining access to the internet is not just about reducing seniors’ isolation by connecting to friends and relatives. Increasingly, vital public and private services information are available only on-line. This means that unless seniors can get on-line, they will find themselves deprived of key information and access to vital services. Through Tonari Gumi’s “Tech2Go” program, seniors will be trained not only in Vancouver at Tonari Gumi, but also in Burnaby at the Nikkei Home and in Richmond at the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. In addition, senior volunteer teams will also be trained to visit those seniors who for health or other reasons can’t get out and to teach them how to use a tablet computer in their homes or seniors’ residences.
Another important part of the “Tech2Go” program will be to train seniors to create an on-line newsletter which can be shared via the web with everyone within the community to keep them connected to community events and to provide other key information important for seniors.
Izumi Tagawa, who has already successfully taught many popular tablet computer classes at Tonari Gumi, has been hired as the bilingual (Japanese/English) coordinator to get this program underway. All the workshops and training will be available in both English and Japanese. Recruiting for seniors to be trained to help other seniors has already started at Tonari Gumi and will soon start in Burnaby and Richmond. Anyone interested (55+) in building on their own basic skills on using either an Android tablet or iPad and who are willing to help, should contact Izumi at (604) 687-2172 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.