BlindSquare logo vs. Seeing Eye logo

HI-Tech O&M Progress: Navigation apps and adult clients

An O&M's personal experience and suggestions when teaching navigation apps to adult clients.

After taking the Hi-Tech O&M professional development class taught by Diane Brauner and Ed Summers through Perkins eLearning, I was able to answer the one question that I have been asked repeatedly of me, “which travel app do you recommend?” Would you use the Seeing Eye app or is there a better one out there? I realized after learning about the BlindSquare app and practicing with it when I returned home, I can honestly recommend the BlindSquare app. My lesson plan consisted of demonstrating the BlindSquare app to an adult client using the tracker feature. When I discussed our plan for morning, she commented that BlindSquare does not offer turn by turn navigation and she didn’t like it. (Even though she has never used the app.) It is not always easy to convince an adult to try something new, so I asked if we could just compare travel apps. She was willing to make comparisons and actively engaged.

I discovered while we were opening our apps what she didn’t know was that the BlindSquare app can connect with 3rd party apps for the information they desire. I let her practice using the plan a route feature, which gave her an easy access to Google Maps. The ease and accessibility to access a third party source was helpful to this client and allowed us to get passed the initial hesitance to use BlindSquare. The client I was working with was extremely impressed by the tracking feature and told me this would be invaluable to her as she likes to explore new areas of the city, but does not always have someone willing to show her around when the “mood strikes” her. At the end of the lesson she told me she would like to work on the app some more before deciding if she likes it or not. She also stated that maybe the two apps could complement one another. We will continue to train on the app if she so desires. New technology is always a bit tricky when working with adults!

Food for thought when working with Adults

  1. Make the technology relevant to their needs.
  2. Do not expect instant recognition and recall, practice at each step is often required.
  3. Have guided outlines available for client.
  4. Build off of other technologies/applications that they are familiar with and using.
  5. Remember with adults, consumer choice and respect for their choice is necessary.


By Margo.lentz

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