I just returned from a 2 week trip to see my father in Utah.  It was a fun Christmas with lots of snow and family.  My Dad got a new ipod nano as a Christmas present, something he had previously sworn he’d never need or use.  You see, my dad, like many people is somewhat afraid of technology.  He struggles with e-mail, the internet, and a lot of the newest hottest stuff that comes out, like the ipod.  Once he figured out how to use itunes, he loves it, walks around with his headset on, all be it a little too loud for those around him sometimes.

So while I was there, I tried to help him learn some things in itunes, as well as buy and download music from amazon.  I was attempting to show him how to perform some tasks that have become so easy for me.  However, he did not have jaws or any screen reader installed on his computer, so I was trying to help him without knowing what was actually on his screen.  Let’s just say it was eye-opening for me.  I have tried to grow with technology, learn new things as they come along, but to someone who hasn’t done this, the simplest things can be very overwhelming!  By the time we finished one task, I had him so confused and frustrated!  It did show me my capabilities, made me realize that I know a little and can help people with that knowledge.  Even without a screen reader, I can help in performing technical tasks.  That said, next time I may go armed with a portable screen reader like system access to give me a little boost.

By the way, I am now playing with System Access to go and it works great!!  They have just opened up the option of having a free account to try it out.  Wow, this would have been very nice to have on my recent trip!!  I will blog more about it on another post!