The National MS Society’s Computer Outreach Program provides computers to those who are living with multiple sclerosis and are restricted to their own homes or are living in long term care facilities. This unique program enables these individuals to remain connected to the world beyond their homes despite financial constraints that preclude them from purchasing computers or assistive technology.
Often, individuals living with MS who reside in long term care facilities are much younger in age than the typical population in those facilities; they are eager to participate in social media or online support networks. They are hungry for the social contact modern day technology provides; they are interested in gathering information on their disease from the Internet, continuing their education and connecting with loved ones. They want to grow, learn, and move their lives forward.
The Computer Outreach Program provides those who qualify a laptop or desktop computer, pre-loaded with adaptive software and configured to each user’s specific needs. The computers, along with the speech recognition software included in Windows 7 and a webcam to use with Skype and other free software, will enable them to enjoy the quality of life everyone deserves.
How you can help:
Donate: The Program depends on the generosity of people who donate used computers/equipment to the program; thank you for considering a donation!
The suggested minimum requirements are as follows:
- 1.5ghz CPU or higher
- 1 gb RAM or higher (DDR or SDRAM)
- Windows XP Operating System or later
- CD ROM or DVD ROM Drives
- Flat Screen Monitors (No CRT's)
- Printers, scanners and fax machines cannot be accepted.
The National MS Society is looking for Computer Outreach Program volunteers who would be willing to take on the role of refurbishing donations, loading software and assistive/adaptive technology and helping to train people living with MS on the new technology and media. Volunteers should be willing to follow up with recipients of the equipment on a monthly basis through Skype, email, website and phone calls. This position would work closely with the program manager. An IT background is helpful but not required. The position requires knowledge of the following:
- Windows-based machines
- How to connect a machine to the internet via ethernet or wireless
- Re-image donated machines with licensed software
- Troubleshoot issues regarding any equipment
- Social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
- Adaptive/assistive and free software such as Dragon Speech Zoom Text, Skype, etc.
For more information about this program, please contact Amber Stalker at 1-800-344-4867 or Amber.Stalker@nmss.org.