Back in May I attended the 60 UP Health and Wellbeing fair, held in the Green Man, a pub repurposed as a community centre and cafe by Phoenix housing. 60 UP is an inclusive social enterprise catering for the older section of the community providing activities for social engagement and alleviating isolation. I was asked to come along and have a stall and a talk about comfortably using digital hardware – I was completely taken by the amount of interest in my accessible keyboard and trackball! There were also many interested parties already on their way with digital, interestingly most were owners of iPads.
One very enthusiastic lady started prodding at the Breezie on show and then brought up her own Indian Youtube channel, which seemed to be an instructional set of videos for followers of Hinduism. When she appeared on screen, the lady became very excited, and ran off with the tablet, informing everyone that was an internet star…!
I followed casually and had to draw a courteous line as she started moving towards the doorway – not overly concerned about her honesty, more about the fact she had her fun without even asking.
My talk started talking about using laptops with the accessible hardware to make use more comfortable, then moved along to talking about tablets as I discerned the audience’s digital ownership. As the crowd became more responsive to my questions, the enthusiasm changed topics to costing internet access and best providers too – great to have an engaged crowd, that took all of the business cards that I brought for the day!