The Wayside Computer Education Program is a unique and innovative program designed to teach our residents basic computer skills. This amazing program has opened up a whole new world to our residents who are now able to be a part of the information superhighway and communicate over the internet. Students begin by learning basic computer skills and advance onto learning how to use email, search the internet, create cards, practice typing skills, and research their favorite topics. Each student is given an Individualized Computer Plan by their instructor, Tim Caskey, which spells out their goals, objectives, timeline and outcomes for each student’s program of study. This program has allowed our residents to learn new skills while building their self-esteem. Many students are now able to communicate via email to their family and classmates. “The most gratifying aspect of teaching these exceptional individuals is the look on their faces when they see messages in their Yahoo “In Box” from family, Wayside staff and classmates,” notes Tim.
The program, started in 2001, has grown from six students to over 25 students with a waiting list. Efforts are currently underway to expand the class so at least eight to ten more residents can participate. Classes are currently held three times a week on computers outfitted with special keyboards, touch screens and roller ball mice so that each student is able to fully use the computer station, all of which were graciously donated by foundations. The program has been a success from the start and has been a wonderful addition to the many services that Our Lady of the Wayside offers to its residents.The students even have their own web page, www.olwcomped.weebly.com/, where they display their work, along with pictures and newspaper articles on the program.
This program, while critical to our resident’s development and quality of life, is not covered by Medicaid reimbursement and is funded solely by caring donors, organizations and foundations.