Technology Coaching

Coaching Stories

More than ever, people with I/DD are living fuller lives with the support of technology. Read stories from chapters of The Arc, below.


Tony’s job switched to digital pay stubs only, but he was used to getting paper pay stubs. He and his provider did not know how to access his account to know how much he was making. Coaching gave him the guidance to reset his password and access his account. He can now log in, access his statements, and print them in the format he wants. Since the session, Tony feels proud to know how much he makes and wants to check it every two weeks.


Wynnie has had difficulty in the past with risky online behavior due to not knowing the dangers of the Internet or how to be safe online. Her coaching taught her about the pros and cons of using social media, safe Internet use (avoiding pop-up ads, suspicious emails, not putting personal information on the Internet, identifying safe websites to use, websites to avoid, scams, using privacy settings and creating strong passwords). She learned about the importance of media balance, digital footprints, online relationships and communication, and what to do about cyberbullying. She also learned some basic typing skills and how to build a resume with Microsoft Office templates to help with her online job search and applications. She is now able to identify risky websites and online scams, how to use a template to create a resume and profile page on a laptop, how to make videos on an iPad and how to compare tech products to identify which product would best fit her needs and help her to live a fuller life. When asked about the impact of her coaching, Wynnie said, “The classes have shown me I can really reach out to friends better. It has always been hard for me to connect with people. It’s helped me to connect with staff, too. It’s helped me to become a better person.”


Patti-Jo is very interested in cooking but needed to build some basic knowledge about accessing recipes and maintaining a grocery list. With her new skills, she is starting to build independence with cooking for herself and feels very empowered.


Three participants from the chapter photography club wanted instruction using their desktop and getting their photos from email onto Flickr. By learning how to transfer photos to an online hub like Flickr, they’re able to share their work with those around them and feel proud!


Cate came to her local tech coaching center with a desire to expand her job seeking ability to the internet. She has learned how to apply filters and select opportunities based on her needs and employment criteria and hopes to find employment and achieve her ultimate goal of moving into her own apartment someday.


Earl had a strong desire to talk and connect with his friends more. Using the internet to achieve this has enabled him to make plans with his social circle and see them more frequently, giving Earl more opportunities to connect to his community and maintain social ties.


Betsy’s tablet skills have improved exponentially as a result of her coaching. She learned how to shop online using safe websites/apps and how to use a debit card to pay for purchases. This means she can take initiative buying the things she needs for day-to-day life with far less direction and support.


Vanessa wanted to learn more about how to use her phone to take pictures and print them. Her first session focused on learning to use the settings on her phone to take better pictures and edit them. She then requested an additional session to learn how to get her photos printed. She decided she wanted to customize a pop socket phone accessory with one of her photos! When it arrived, her family was impressed with both her photography skills and that she had compared prices online to get it printed.


Christina learned how to build, print, and make copies of a resume. She now has a resume and can make as many copies as she needs when she interviews for jobs.


Dan’s coaching goal was to search YouTube, especially using Alexa. He can now use voice commands to find what he is looking for online, and even share it with family members. Through these skills, he’s able to express himself and build a community around shared interests in the future!


Natonya wanted to search the internet, including for recipes, hair care, and crafts. She used the information she found to bake cookies and make crafts for family and friends.


Tech Coaching Centers have had a significant impact on Kris, a board member of The Arc of Weld County, Colorado. Kris is now able to attend board meetings virtually. He learned how to access and operate Zoom video conferencing on a desktop or mobile device.


Josh is on his way to completing his veterinary technician degree! Tech Coaching Centers taught Josh, who lives with traumatic brain injury, how to navigate his online student classroom and dashboard and find additional help with his vet tech program online. Josh’s new computer skills will allow him to continue pursuing his career in veterinary medicine with minimal outside support and reach financial independence.


Cesar is now able to operate his Smart phone with a new level of independence. He learned how to customize settings, reset his password with minimal assistance, and troubleshoot the camera. Cesar says now he is looking forward to helping others!


Alexus came to the Tech Coaching Centers wanting to learn how to use appointments and alarms on her smartphone. Since learning these skills, she has improved her ability to be on time and as a result is more responsible and independent!


M has plans to live more independently at college next year. At the Tech Coaching Center, they developed new technology skills to help with daily living including safety, hygiene, fitness, cooking, scheduling, and finances. M learned how to set important reminders on their Smart phone to stay on task throughout the day and how to create recipes. M is also able to track their exercise goals and sleep schedule. Participation in the TCC program has given M increased independence from their family.


K came to the Tech Coaching Center with a goal of learning how to use technology to manage her finances more independently. K is now able to use her tablet and Smart phone to keep track of her income, daily expenses, and budget. She learned to enter receipts online into color coded categories and organize the information into a program that calculates totals. K’s new technology skills also allow her mother to assist her with finances remotely, giving K more space and independence in her own home!


J succeeded in learning how to use technology to help complete daily tasks and chores. J came to the Tech Coaching Center with the goal of using a voice-controlled smart speaker to set up reminders for the day. They are now able to utilize that technology, as well as an app on his/her tablet to create new visual support strategies to manage daily tasks. J’s tech skills mean more independence.


High school is a time of growth and building independence—and Brady was ready to start his high school experience with the tools to be more independent and responsible. He wanted to use technology to communicate and fit in with his peers, remember things, and stay safe when he was on his own.

Through his local Tech Coaching Center, Brady received an iPhone 8 as well as training on how to utilize it to meet his goals! Brady and his mom attended a coaching session where they learned how to use several apps to meet his needs. With the tools and apps available on the phone, he could communicate personal information if he got lost—and his loved ones can now be aware of his whereabouts if he shares his location through “Find my iPhone”. And in day-to-day situations, his family, teachers, and friends found he was able to complete tasks with fewer prompts and reminders due to his newly learned skills with the reminder apps. With new knowledge on using the phone for communication, safety, and responsibility, he has all the tools he needs to navigate the world of high school more confidently.


J.R. loves biking and wanted more freedom with the routes he takes and how far he goes. But with limited verbal communication skills, his mom was worried about his safety and ability to ask for directions or help if he got lost. Through their local chapter’s coaching, J.R. learned how to utilize a Gizmo smartwatch to stay safe. He is now able to be more independent in his biking routes, and his family is able to worry less about his whereabouts and safety!


Sam entered his coaching with a goal of learning how to create video games. Through his sessions, he learned how to create simple “if-then” events using simplified programming features. He can now independently use the animation editor in the program Clickteam Fusion 2.5 to create custom animations for his games! After completing his coaching, he took imitative in continued development of his new skills–purchasing a license for the program for his own computer at home. Sam has schizophrenia, which contributed to computer and internet aversions. But after experiencing how fun it was to create his own animations, he independently creates digital artwork and proudly shows it off to his family and friends.


Donald used to express frustration when he felt like people were rushing him during an outing. Through his Tech Center coaching, Donald learned how to set his own alarms. As a result, he is able to be responsible for his own schedule and avoid frustration that stems from feeling like he is being pressured.


Paul is nonverbal and largely non-ambulatory and uses foot switches and a text to talk program on a laptop to speak. But while he had figured out ways to navigate communication needs at work, he needed some extra help with his new job’s electronic timecard system to log hours. His tech coach helped him set up his login, password, and security questions. They also helped him understand where in the system to clock in and submit timesheets, and where to check his W2 and paychecks. His coworkers are proud of the independence he has achieved!


Courtney needed help during her job search. While she could use her phone for job searching, she wanted to also use her new laptop to search. Her coaching helped her learn how to navigate different job boards and do internet searches of possible companies to consider. She is now very engaged in the process and has taken full responsibility for her job search! With this coaching under her belt, as well as an interviewing class and several job fairs, Courtney is well on her way to landing a great job.


Johnette has exceled at the Tech Coaching Center. She has new confidence in using technology to manager her schedule, read and write messages, and activate voice commands for home functions such as turning on and off lights and playing music. Johnette, who has intellectual disability, also learned new ways to use technology to search for recipes, check the weather, and create reminders for daily living tasks. The program has given Johnette greater independence!


In the Tech Coaching Center, Stephen gained valuable skills in using the internet to find the locations of nearby stores, restaurants, and activities. He can also utilize voice-activated technology to independently operate functions around the house and to search for and play music he wants to hear. Stephen also enjoys using his new tech skills to find his favorite television shows and videos online.


Levi learned how to search the internet independently at the Tech Coaching Center to find information such as the latest on Philadelphia sports teams and schedules. Levi can also use a voice-activated virtual assistant to organize schedules and calendars, set alarms and operate various functions around his home.


Duward is enjoying a new level of independence gained through sessions at the Tech Coaching Center. This is the first time he has been actively engaged in the internet and the first time he wanted to learn more about tasks he could accomplish online. Duward, who has challenges with typing and reading, learned how to use voice commands to search the internet for his favorite music so that he doesn’t have to rely on assistance from others. In TCC sessions, Duward also learned how to use music apps to search for his favorite artists. The sessions opened a whole new world for him.


Participant 8 needed support with mobile apps and budgeting. Their coaching has helped them learn how to log into apps, understand and use mobile banking for paying bills. They can now use their phone to pay electricity, cable, and their renter’s insurance bills!


Participant 12 sought out a coaching center to improve their overall social media skills as well as other features on Facebook. With step by step guidance, the participant learned how to post his own images on his Facebook page—enabling him to share with friends and socialize more effectively. He also learned how to search for events of interest. With these new skills, the participant will be able to explore and build a presence in the community. Through events that are posted on Facebook, he found that there are lots of things going on in his community that he can participate in. He is able to use the event information, including time and location, to get to and from them independently.


As a result of attending his local Tech Coaching Center, Sean can now better maneuver through his screen using the mouse—which helps him play his favorite games! He feels more independent, making him and his family proud.


Anne needed help and practice using a mouse. Her coaching helped her work on hand-eye coordination and patience so she could employ her mouse with better accuracy. As a result, Anne can perform better in her favorite game and she is less frustrated—decreasing the frustration and stress of those around her too.


Ralph wanted to learn how to use web browsers to access social media. Now, he feels more confident using Facebook and is able to connect with friends and co-workers.


Tristen wanted to learn how to turn his computer on and log in. Now that he knows how, he wants to learn more so he can use it like his brother does. His coaching has opened up a way to connect with his brother and the world around him.


Rachel was interested in gaining technology skills to increase her independence within the community. She learned keys on the keyboard, which will translate to skills like working on a job application and communicating with others!


Prior to tech coaching, Hung Bob had no knowledge of what a search engine was. Once he learned that there were many search engines at his disposal, he wanted to learn about them all! His coaching taught him how to use them on both iPads and laptops, and now he is even more interested on learning other things he can do online to improve his independence through his involvement in the community as an Eagle Scout.


Kate has been trying to live a healthier life and lose weight. Kate showed interest using an app to help achieve these goals, and when her support asked her if she would be interested in working one-on-one through tech coaching to download an app, she said yes! She was shown several different apps to help her keep track of her food intake. She was able to choose an app, download it, and set up the app to specific needs. Now, she uses it on a regular basis to enter and track her daily food habits so she can take charge of her own health and wellness!


Bonnie wanted to use her phone to contact her friends and utilize Google Maps so she could take the city bus where she wanted. Through her coaching, Bonnie was able to map a route to a location downtown, walk to the appropriate bus stop with staff, take the bus, enjoy her visit, and return home afterwards. She is still improving her skills and is not yet ready to take the bus independently—but by putting her new knowledge into practice, she’s taking steps to build independence in her life!


Mitchell wanted to learn how to use email. At his new school, this would be the primary method of contact with teachers, so it was very important to learn. As a result of his coaching, Mitchell has learned how to use his email for school—but that’s not all! It has also opened up opportunities to submit resumes, connect with friends, and other ways to engage with the community around him.


Jeremy is mostly nonverbal and struggles with communicating with others. While he can say words like yes and no, he mostly communicates using very basic ASL, facial expressions, eye contact, body movements and gestures and does not read or write. Jeremy indicated he was interested in Tech Coaching to improve his technological skills while working towards employment readiness. In his coaching, he learned how to turn on a laptop and iPad and select videos he was interested in watching. He also began using a sound board application to create his own sound boards to communicate with friends, family, and support workers. Jeremy assisted in designing a personalized sound board to communicate with his family over the phone. His custom pictures included greetings to his dad and brother, as well as pictures for the places he goes, things he does, and to say “I love you”. Jeremy intends on using the personalized sound board he helped design to communicate with his friends and family, who are all so excited he has a new way to interact with the people he cares about!


Joey wanted to learn basic computer skills. This included learning how to use an assistive technology device/app, another device like a tablet, and apps like iMovie. He also wanted to learn to use accessibility features that were built into a device, how to use a web browser to navigate the internet, how to search the web, how to use email, and how to apply for a job online. His coaching has helped him become more familiar with general use of technology devices, which has given him the tools to pursue his interests. He is learning letter recognition on the keyboard, which gives him skills to build his resume and search for jobs on Indeed. He also made great connections with other participants in the coaching class. With his new iMovie prowess, he was able to see if his friends wanted to be in his new movie trailer—giving them all an opportunity to share a fun experience and important moment together!


Liam needed assistance to seek employment. His coaching helped him navigate the job application process and follow up on any he submitted. He applied and was hired for seasonal work at a local amusement park, and is better prepared to continue seeking other opportunities in the future.


Nick wanted to learn how to use a restaurant cash register. He was successful in his endeavor, and how holds a full-time job as a result of this acquired skill.


Maggie wanted to expand her math ability. Her coaching taught her how to search the internet for websites that had free, printable math worksheets. She is now able to access as many math resources as she wants, and is improving her skills!


Amy started her tech coaching with a typing class over a year ago. Her coaches helped her set up a Gmail account and a typing account. After a few sessions, she asked for her own log in information and began typing independently. She currently has over 68 hours of typing lessons accomplished! When she seemed hungry for more instruction, her coaches helped her learn how to use the display computer in the facility, as well as Google slides and photo formatting. Once her hard work was displayed, she was so proud and showed everyone around the building her accomplishments.


Tyler was interested in learning about coding, and acquired basic skills using JavaScript—coding shapes and filling them with color. The best takeaway wasn’t his introductory skills, but the discovery that enjoyed it and was good at it. He now has a marketable skill to continue cultivating and pursue employment in if he chooses.


Steven wanted to set up a personal Facebook profile to connect with those around him. At the culmination of his coaching, he not only had an account but knew how to post pictures, write messages, and add friends. He can now stay in touch with people outside of his immediate social circle and feels much more connected with those around him—especially those he doesn’t see on a daily basis.


Sean’s family is big into video editing, and Sean wanted to learn how so he could participate with them. He built skills and independence using Final Cut Pro X, learning how to cut clips and add music to a video. He can now actively join his family in filming and editing together and has taken one more step towards his goal of becoming a professional movie editor!


Barbara’s tech coaching has allowed her to take concrete steps towards living a healthier lifestyle. She learned how to charge her Fitbit, sync results to her iPad, and check her step patterns over time. She will use these tools to continually increase the number of steps she walks on a given day to lose weight. Instead of dreading physical activity, she looks forward to seeing how much progress she is making.


Cassandra needed assistance learning how to conserve battery on her phone so she could make important calls and take pictures on trips. Her coach taught her how to access the “low power” mode, as well as how to close all active applications from running in the background. Cassandra’s mom now worries less when she is away from home, and Cassandra feels less anxiety knowing she can keep her phone on longer to connect with others while also capturing moments that she takes part of in the community.


James is person who is non-verbal and uses a communication device to communicate. He was evaluated for Tech Coaching in order to expand his communication skills using his communication device. He also worked on Facetime so that he can keep in touch with his parents. This has built on his communication skills and the ability for him to stay connect with his family when he is unable to see them in-person.


Jack began Tech Coaching to help his with his professional social skills. He sometimes struggled to remain on topic during professional exchanges. During his Tech Coaching sessions Jack worked on appropriate email etiquette and safety. He skills improved which will help him find and maintain consistent employment.


Ben is person who is non-verbal and uses a communication device to assist him with his communication. During his Tech Coaching sessions he and his coach, Jonathan, worked on expanding the use of his communication device so that he can express his wants and needs.Tech Coaching has helped expand Ben’s language and communication skills.


Liam was interested in getting assistance to complete his college coursework online. Liam needed to receive help with Adobe Illustrator to complete coursework requirements. Once Liam connected with his Tech Coach, David, he was able to get his coursework back on track and continued to work on his online education.


Blanca was interested in learning basic tech skills during her coaching sessions. Through Tech Coaching Blanca learned how to navigate the desktop computer. She is able to turn it on and find the application that she is interested in working in. Blanca  is excited for more opportunities to use the new computer lab and continue to work on her technology skills.


Sue struggles with reading the news. She was evaluated to recieve Tech Coaching to assist her with reading the news online. Her Tech Coach, Maylin worked with her to learn how to use specific news apps that will use text-to-speech to turn the text into audio and read the words to Sue. Sue enjoys being able to be more independent because of her Tech Coaching.


Aust is a person with I/DD who is very independent, however he began Tech Coaching so that he could get assistance using technology to find a job. Aust learned about different apps and websites that can help him find employment opportunities. He also worked on programs that will help him create a cover letter and resume.


Tracey is a person with Cerebral Palsy and she has limited speech. Tracey was interested in learning more about smart apps that could be incorporated into her television, this would allow her to control her tv and radio with her head “switch” independently. After working with a Tech Coach Tracey was able to improve her independence and knowledge of the smart devices she can use to make decisions.


Ember was seeking instruction on how to use technology to follow directions on a map. Ember worked with her Tech Coach to learn how to use an electronic map app so get from one place to another. Her family is excited about her progress and her work towards becoming more independent.


Nicholas was seeking employment and needed instruction on how to use a computer to complete an online job application. Nicholas worked with his Tech Coach to learn how to complete an online job application. He is now able to take ownership over his job search and feels more confident since he can complete job application independently.


Vanessa has difficulty reading and writing and before she started Tech Coaching it was difficult for her to complete a basic internet search without assistance. She would ask for assistance navigating the computer. After receiving Tech Coaching she is now able to navigate between multiple screens on the computer and is able to select topics of her choice. She has enjoyed gaining independence when using the computer.


Dwayne is a person with an intellectual disability and low vision. Staff at his chapter thought he would be a great candidate for tech coaching so they got his permission to evaluate him to receive coaching. Dwayne was interested in learning how to use his cell phone to keep in touch with others.During the tech coaching sessions. Dwayne learned how to enlarge the font on his cell phone so that it was easier for him to read on his phone.  This allowed Dwayne to communicate with his peers! Dwayne also learned how to initiate text messages on previous text threads and send next texts. This gave Dwayne the ability to do something that many take for granted, simple communication!


Dustin recently secured a prestigious internship with the Department of Education, where he is supporting them by cleaning their website of outdated or irrelevant data. While he has a high level of basic computer knowledge, he needed some help from his Coach David to clarify the instructions that were given for specific tasks. With a little bit of support from David, Dustin eventually gained independence and was eventually able to establish shortcuts on his computer for his tasks to streamline his workflow.


Josh came to the Tech Coaching Center because he was hoping to acquire a vital skill required to succeed at his job: he wanted to learn how to master the use of the digital scale that he uses to weigh packages. His job required that he makes sure that all of the packages he handles meet his employer’s weight requirements, making it extremely important that he learn all of the ins-and-outs of how to use the scale quickly and accurately. He practiced using the scale with his Coach, Rebecca, so that he could improve his accuracy and speed in using it. He eventually mastered the skill, and with that, he’s been able to guarantee his job and secure income for himself and his family.


Nic enjoys any opportunity to learn new things. He came to the Tech Coaching Center with the goal of learning the basics of using a camera and microphone to create videos. His coach, David, helped him learn how to use a computer’s microphone and camera settings, which could be useful for connecting with his loved ones over a video call or producing his next film project. Nic is really excited to use his newly acquired skills in the future.


Charla is an individual who has some speech limitations, yet one of the goals she wanted to accomplish early on with her Tech Coach was to use voice control with her television remote control. In a time where all mobile devices and most television sets are now able to recieve commands via voice control, Charla wanted to gain greater autonomy through this basic function. Her Coach, Tiffany, helped her master a few basic commands that have allowed her to pick her favorite channels on TV and enjoy the programs she is most interested in. She now has the ability to use this function with other devices, giving her greater access to technology.


While Jennifer had received previous instruction on how to use computers and tablets, a factor that persistently limited her progress was ber poor vision. Jennifer struggled to read any text which made everything more difficult. By working with her Tech Coach, she has learned to use the accessibility features of a computer to adapt the screen to her needs and is now able to more quickly access all of the things she does on the computer. Since her coaching began, she also purchased an ipad, which has many great accessibility tools that allow her to better connect with her friends and explore her interests independently.


When Michelle came to the Tech Coaching Center, her primary objective was to augment her reading skills and improve her hand-eye coordination skills. Her Coach, Roxane, helped her improve both simultaneously by introducing Michelle to interactive games that would require her to move the mouse frequently and by helping her search for websites on search engines. Through her training sessions, Michelle is now a better reader and has significantly improved her hand-eye coordination.


Kathy wanted to work on her typing skills so she began working with her Tech Coach, Jeremy. Over the course of 3 months Kathy worked on her typing skills. She completed periodic tests to demonstrate her improvement. The tests results showed that her typing speed and accuracy improved. Kathy also worked on creating business cards online during her tech coaching sessions on the computer.


Robert has significant challenges communicating verbally, which in turn has affected his ability to express himself with his caregivers and loved ones. His Tech Coach, Rosemary, helped him learn how to use Sketchpad 5.0, a digital art program. At first, Robert had some challenges in learning what each icon and setting in the program did, but after getting the hang of the program, Robert began producing beautiful images and designs that he was able to share with his friends and family. Thanks to Sketchpad and his Tech Coach, Robert is better able to express himself and is truly proud of the images he creates.


One of Amy’s favorite activities is participating in The Arc of Southern Maryland’s Photography Club. One of the skills she wanted to learn when she came to the Tech Coaching Center was to share the photos she takes with her other friends in the club. Her coach, Rosemary, helped her learn how to upload the photos she took from her camera onto her computer and email her photos to her friends and family so that they may also appreciate her talents. Now that she can share her photos with others, she hopes to compete and win the club’s photo challenge!


Shannon came to the Tech Coaching Center to hone her skills in web design and photo editing. Her Tech Coach, Rosemary, taught Shannon the basics of downloading photos and using photo editing software to enhance them before uploading the finished products to a website. Shannon hopes to continue to master these skills in the future.


Tyler came to the Tech Coaching Center with a special goal: he wanted to become an instructor to help his peers learn basic computer skills. His coach Lindsey became his mentor and champion as he learned how to teach these basic skills. Through hard work and learning this valuable skill, he eventually got a job at a tech firm, Cobalt Computer Services, where he is an assistant instructor for basic digital literacy classes.


Nicholas has a passion for cooking and trying out new recipes, which is why he wanted to learn how to search for recipes to try out at home. He met with Joshua, who showed him how to use the Supercook website. Through tech coaching, Nick was able to create a shortcut icon on his tablet which allows him to access the Supercook website from home. He is now able to click through ingredients that he already owns in order to locate recipes that he and his partner or Case Manager can prepare together. This coaching has allowed Nick to be more independent and to make healthier and more varied choices with the things he cooks.


One of the goals that Hugh had when he came to the Tech Coaching Center was to use internet search tools to find interesting recipes that he could try out at home. Because he had little experience in using internet search tools, he worked with Erica to learn how to use Google to search for an print out recipes so that he could try them out at home. So far, Hugh has enjoyed trying new things in his kitchen and looks forward to continuing to hone his cooking skills.


Matthew came to the Tech Coaching Center because, as a job seeker, he was looking for a way to create a resume that he could update easily and on multiple devices. He Tech Coach, Samsom, helped him to create Google email account and create a resume using Google Docs. he then taught Matthew how to download the Google Docs app on all of his mobile devices so that he could access and update his resume on-the-go. While he is currently finishing school, Matthew hopes to use his new skill to fine-tune his resume as he looks for jobs in the future.


Kelly came to the Tech Coaching Center with a special project – she wanted to  help a friend of hers by creating a communication board. She started out by using my android phone to take pictures. She then used a USB cable to upload the pictures on to the computer. She created a folder on the desktop to save all the pictures and document. She learned how to insert pictures into a document and how to crop/resize them. She then was able to use a laminator to laminate the paper and finish the communication board.

Kelly saw a need in the life of one of her friends and decided to do something about it. Because of the coaching session, she was able to not only have the idea, but the ability to do something to better the life of someone else. Not only did her efforts help the life of someone who was non-verbal but also gave her a more meaningful and purposeful time at The Arc.


Amy is a craftsman and a businesswoman. She sought out Jeremy’s help at the Tech Coaching Center because she wanted to gain the knowledge and tools she needed to better market her products. With a little guidance from Jeremy, Amy created a set of her own business cards to hand out to her customers when they buy her items. Amy is now slowly but surely expanding her brand with the hope that increased sales will follow.


Daniel came to the Tech Coaching Center with a very specific goal: he wanted to learn how to master Javascript to become a web developer. His tech coach, Jeremy, created a multi-session plan, during which he taught David how to use code to create individual shapes and fill them in with different colors and textures. Through his instruction at the Tech Coaching Center, David has acquired an invaluable professional skill that is highly sought after by employers.


One of Kyle’s main goals when he came to the Tech Coaching Center was to learn how to use his Fitbit and Fitbit App to track his fitness goals. His coach, Karen, helped Kyle sync the app to his mobile device, master its settings and set goals for himself in the process. Thanks to his acquired skills, Kyle now regularly sets fitness challenges with his family members and friends who also use the app. Now all they have to do is catch up with Kyle!


Earl is a shy but fiercely independent individual who came to the Tech Coaching Center to learn how to better use his iPad to communicate with his caregivers and engage in recreational activities on his own. Patricia helped Earl to learn how to use FaceTime to communicate with his guardian and also learned how to use other apps as well, such as the weather and certain game apps to use in his down time. By learning these skills, Earl is now better connected and more independent than ever.


Kyle S. was set to transition out of school in June 2018 and was going to begin looking for a job. Kyle’s main issue was a common one: he had never applied to a job before and had no idea where to begin. With the support of his job coach, David, Kyle not only learned where to look for jobs in his area online, he also learned how to apply to jobs. As of late March, Kyle had applied to several open positions in his area and had even gotten two interviews.


Sean is an intelligent individual who has a limited ability to communicate verbally with his family, caregivers and peers. Previously, Sean would use his iPad to convey visual cues (symbols, pictures) in combination with gestures and limited words to communicate. Seeking a more effective way to communicate, Sean signed up for Tech Coaching to learn how to use a typing-based communication application on his iPad. Sean worked with his coach, Jon, to master the app and improve his typing ability for speed and accuracy, greatly expanding Sean’s ability to converse with his family and others.


Ashlee came to The Arc Tech Coaching Center with the desire to learn how to use social media platforms safely and effectively to better connect with her loved ones. Her main area of focus was to learn how to use Facebook, as she thought that this would be a good way to communicate via messages, share photos and videos, and keep up with her large family’s activities. Her Tech Coaching Sessions allowed her to learn the ins and outs of using Facebook, all while emphasizing safety and etiquette in its use so that Ashlee could know which thoughts and pictures she could and should share with her friends. Her Tech Coaching experience gave her to keep up with and connect with her family independently and on her own time.


One of Amy’s main goals in life prior to receiving Tech Coaching was to better prepare herself for entering the job market. She worked with the Tech Coaching staff to create an email account and resume to be able to submit jobs online. She also learned how to search commonly-used online job boards to find jobs that she was interested and that matched her professional profile. Through her coaching, Amy has become much more confident and independent in the job application process and has used her skills to begin managing her job application process on her own.


One of Katie’s biggest goals in her life was to get a job and, as part of her steps toward achieving her goal, she came to The Arc Tech Coaching Center to learn how to search and apply for jobs online. Katie learned how to navigate to specific job websites, search for jobs that she was interested in and qualified for, and apply to jobs independently. Her learning efforts were quickly rewarded: within a few weeks, Katie has applied for and interviewed for a job that she eventually was hired for.


Suzzette came to The Arc Tech Coaching Center with a desire to learn how to use internet search engines to learn how to search for items and answers to questions that interest her. She had previous experience with using the internet for this purpose but had always required the support of a family member or staff member from The Arc to get to the information she was looking for. Her coach, Clay, not only taught her the basics on how to use search engines such as Bing and Google, he also taught her to keep records of the links she found useful and informative in Excel. With Clay’s help, Suzzette has garnered a greater sense of independence and is able to explore the subjects that most interest her on her own.


David came to his Tech Coach, Gina, with a very important goal: he wanted to learn how to access and use the accessibility features that came with his Android-powered Samsung smartphone. Being visually impaired, David had a hard time using his phone because the standard icon and text sizes were not large enough for him. Gina coached him in learning how to change the font size of the text on his phone and also how to use the magnify feature if something needed to be enhanced further. David now has little trouble navigating from one app to another and greatly enjoys his newfound independence.


Theresa recently became the owner of a brand-new Kindle Fire, a tablet which would allow her to download all the videos, apps and books she wanted and have access to them at the touch of a button. In order to learn how to use it effectively, Theresa enlisted the help of Erica, a coach at The Arc Tech Coaching Center. Erica and Theresa began by setting up Theresa’s Amazon account using Theresa’s newly-created email account. After showing Theresa how to use her Gmail account, Erica helped show Theresa how to link her tablet to her Amazon account and navigate the app and video search engines on the tablet. Now that she’s able to use her tablet on her own, Theresa is now able to use her new tablet to pursue her own interests on an independent basis.


Clarence has significant trouble in communicating with others, specifically as it relates to having face-to-face conversations. When he was introduced to the Talk Tablet app at The Arc Tech Coaching Center Open House event, Clarence seized the opportunity to sign up to courses so that he could learn how to use it. Clarence worked with his coach, Latrice, to learn how to use the app on one of NewStar’s tablets. Mastering the app has helped Clarence to turn a new leaf: He is now much better able to communicate with his friends and support staff at the chapter and is becoming more and more outgoing as time goes on.


Stan came to the Tech Coaching Center with a solid understanding of how to use his tablet and smartphone to effectively navigate his daily routine. One challenge that he asked his coach, Domickus, to assist him with was learning how to better organize his emails on his tablet and smartphone. Stan primarily uses email to communicate with his family and friends but was having trouble getting through the jumble of email he receives on a weekly basis to get to the messages that matter most.


While the internet is a powerful and useful tool for all types of activities and goals, it can also be an unfamiliar and sometimes unsafe place. Ryan came to The Arc Tech Coaching Center wanting to learn how to use the internet in an efficient and safe way. Ryan had always wanted to learn the basics of using the internet but had never attempted to learn on his own due to his worries about encountering unsafe sites or situations through his exploration. Ryan began by taking lessons with his Tech Coach, Domickus, to learn how to use various internet search engines to find information and navigate to websites that way. Domickus then taught Ryan about internet safety, with an emphasis on identifying warning signs for unsafe sites and protecting Ryan’s personal information from unauthorized use. Domickus also helped Ryan set up some controls on his tablet and phone to help avoid unsafe sites. Equipped with his newfound knowledge on internet safety, Ryan is enjoying using the internet as a means to connect with his friends and as a tool to further his education.


Prior to meeting Ashley, her Tech Coach, and participating in Tech Coaching, Cyntoria often preferred to keep to herself and not engage in group activities. The Arc’s staff had tried to offer Cyntoria various learning opportunities, but none had captured her attention – until Cyntoria learned about the Tech Coaching Center. When Cyntoria received the flyer for the coaching program, she immediately expressed interest in participating, with a focus on how to use a tablet to access leisure and social activities. After working with her coach, Ashley, on learning the basics of how to use a tablet, Cyntoria’s attitude and demeanor towards learning and being with others has changed dramatically. Not only is she adamant on continuing to hone her skills in using a tablet in the future, she is also actively seeking to join in on other activities and services offered by the chapter. Cyntoria’s Tech Coaching experience was more than just a foray into using tech – it was a vehicle which allowed her to come out of her shell and engage more with others.


Bobbi came to her coach, Ashley, with an important issue: Bobbi has access to a tablet at home but had not received instruction on how to use it to access apps for education and entertainment. Instead of using her tablet to access these tools independently, Bobbi was constantly having to rely on her friends and caregivers to help her navigate to the tools she wanted to use. As a music aficionada, one of Bobbi’s main objectives was to learn how to use apps that would allow her to listen to music from her favorite artists. During her sessions, Ashley and Bobbi focused on learning how to use the search function on Youtube so that Bobbi could listen to her favorite songs at any time. She also learned how to use Google’s search function to find answers to other questions that arise in her daily routine. Tech Coaching has allowed for Bobbi to not only make greater use of her tablet, but also become more independent, informed and able to engage in the activities that she enjoys.


Mike was already familiar with computers, but he wanted to learn how to use the IDX System specific to his health care internship. Through tech coaching, he took the first steps in understanding and using the IDX computer software. Utilizing his new skills, he has been more successful in his internship. Through the tech coaching program, he has gained more independence. Mike plans to continue with the tech coaching program and his long-term goal is to expand his computer skills and gain fulltime employment.


Debbie needed to expand her computer skills to succeed at her internship at the University of Connecticut. Her support staff suggested tech coaching at her chapter of The Arc to learn the IDX System. With the support of her coach, Debbie learned how to use the IDX software and can now successfully schedule appointments on her own. This has enabled her to have more independence at work and made her a more marketable employee.


Jack has an internship that requires knowledge of a software system that he isn’t familiar with. He was offered the opportunity to have a tech coach support him and educate him on proper use of this system. This was extremely beneficial, as with Jack’s disability he required additional assistance to learn the system. With the support of his coach he learned the basics of the software. Now that he is proficient in the program, he can apply to full time positions once his internship is complete. Jack was extremely pleased with his progress and is happy that he met the goals he set for himself.


Lauren has a job but was seeking more autonomy at work. Her job coach referred her to her local chapter of The Arc to participate in tech coaching. She successfully learned how to locate and stock items using a scanner. This has enabled her to be more efficient at her job as she places items throughout the store. Tech coaching helped Lauren gain confidence and independence.


Alison signed up for tech coaching through her local chapter of The Arc to learn how to use the internet to apply for a job. With the support of her coach, Alison became familiar with a number of employment sites and learned how to do a search to find jobs. While she still needs some assistance, she has come a long way and intends to continue tech coaching so she can be more independent. Her goal is to gain employment and become financially independent.


Communication can be difficult for Amy, which is why she signed up for tech training at The Arc. She entered the program to gain basic computer skills and use a smartphone — to help her better communicate. With the support of Tia and Nadia, Amy learned basic computer skills and she can identify her email, social media, and basic hardware on her devices. She can even successfully log into social media. Her next goal is to learn how to use social media to contact friends and family.


Faith successfully created a resume using Google Docs through her tech training course. She picked a template, formatted it, and familiarized herself with features like spell check and fonts. This is a huge progression from the basic texting she was capable before the tech training. She is now empowered to explore how templates in Google Docs can help her in her job search.


Technology can help make people’s lives easier but can also help keep people safe. Glenn joined tech coaching to learn the evacuation procedures for fires and emergencies. Through his training with the support of technology, Glenn has become familiar with evacuation procedures and has successfully followed them during drills at his residence. His family finds comfort in this and the hope is Glenn can expand his knowledge using the tools that helped him succeed in learning the evacuation plans.


Technology can give individuals confidence in communicating, help connect with old friends, and even enter the work force. Ronnie entered tech training hoping to learn about using Facebook, look for schools online, and apply for jobs. He’s already achieved one of his goals during a social media session he learned to use Facebook to appropriately communicate and connect with his friends. Through future training, he will expand his skillset and access the information he needs online.


Alyssa is reliant on a job coach in work environment, but right now the challenge she faces is finding job placement. Her goal with tech coaching, was to learn how to use the internet to search for and apply for jobs. Through the training she became comfortable using the internet and completed a number of job applications online.


Lisbeth signed up for coaching to improve her social skills. Through coaching she has gotten better at asking questions, making eye contact while engaging with people, and responding to answers. The training has empowered her to increase her social interactions with confidence. Additionally, she had more positive interactions with her peers and finds herself less reliant on staff when it comes to communicating.


Clayton came to The Arc Tech Coaching Center wanting to find a way to teach himself skills that he can use toward his personal and professional goals. One of the main sources of information that he wanted to be able to use was YouTube but, given his mobility and communications limitations, Clayton needed to find effective strategies to use Youtube’s search engine that would match his abilities. His tech coach, Rob, practiced searching and navigating the Youtube site to find the tutorials and video trainings that Mitchell sought. Through this coaching, Clayton has become more confident in using Youtube on his own and has begun to teach himself new and valuable skills.


Mitchell came to The Arc’s Tech Coaching Center because he needed some extra help for another computer class that he was taking at the same time. Mitchell’s troubles with reading and writing had made the going tough in his other class and he sought out his coach, Rob, for some extra, one-on-one instruction on computer basics. With Rob’s help, Mitchell was able to get up to speed in his coursework and deliver an excellent final Powerpoint presentation that allowed him to graduate from the course. Since he graduated the course, Mitchell was gifted a computer that he can use at home for work, leisure and to communicate with his friends and family.


David is a young man that has trouble communicating verbally and had a strong desire to improve his ability to communicate through typing. Once David had expressed his interest in learning how to type more effectively, he began taking typing lessons with his tech coach, Rob, and soon was making progress in his typing speed and accuracy. David particularly enjoyed practicing typing using the typing games that Rob had introduced him to during their lessons. Through his Tech Coaching experience, David has become much better and more confident at communicating through typing.


Tina, a woman with cognitive and visual disabilities, had always wanted to learn basic computer skills to be able to live more independently but had trouble finding an instructor who could help her make computers more visually accessible. Her tech coaches, Tia and Nadia, taught Tina how to switch on certain accessibility features in Microsoft Windows, such as enlarged icons, screen reading applications and others, to make her use of technology more seamless. Having learned how to make her computer more accessible, Tina is now able to take her computer learning skills to the next level.


Ember was brand new to using computers when she enrolled at one of The Arc’s Tech Coaching Centers. Her main goal was to achieve a basic level of understanding of how to search the internet to find specific information she was looking for. This would include using search engines, navigating web pages and accessing resources that would enable her to engage in other lifespan activities including finding and applying to jobs in her area. Her tech Coaching training sessions have allowed her to focus her internet research skills and apply to jobs in her area that fit her skillset.


Renisha enrolled in the Tech Coaching Centers because she wanted to learn how to use email to communicate better with her loved ones and submit job applications online. Renisha’s coaches, Tia and Nadia, worked with Renisha to set up a personal email account and taught her the basics on how to send emails and read incoming messages. Renisha took to using her email quickly and eventually became comfortable enough with email to showcase her talents to some of her friends and colleagues.


When Brian’s parents heard about The Arc’s Tech Coaching Center, they saw the opportunity for Brian, a mostly non-verbal young man with an affinity for computers, to expand his use of computers to more than watching his favorite cartoons on Youtube. His parents already knew that Brian had great typing skills and could navigate the web with little difficulty, but after his first tech coaching session, it became evident that Brian’s computer skills went beyond what his parent’s thought. Brian’s Tech Coach, Charlotte, and Brian’s parents worked together to identify a specific goal he wanted to accomplish using his computer skills. After completing several online career interest assessments, Charlotte helped Brian create a resume that would enable him to pursue jobs in the areas that interested him the most. Through the Tech Coaching Centers, Brian is on track to find a job that best suits his skills, interests and life goals.


Cherilyn is a non-verbal individual who, prior to receiving tech coaching, was mainly using hand written notes and basic sign to communicate with her caregivers and loved ones. She chose to receive Tech Coaching as a stepping stone towards using computers and tablets as augmentative communication devices. She worked with her coach, Bernadette, to learn basic computer skills such as typing and using a mouse to communicate her thoughts. Since her lessons began, Cherilyn has sufficiently progressed in her typing skills to request a formal technology assessment to try different keyboard-based communication devices out. Cherilyn hopes that, with a new and more advanced device, she will be able to increase her independence and learn other computer-based skills.


Michael came into the The Arc’s Tech Coaching Center with a basic yet extremely important need: to learn how to communicate more effectively using his tablet and augmentative communication software. Michael is non-verbal and uses his tablet to communicate with his caregivers, family members and friends. Michael worked with his tech coach, Ashley, to improve his communication skills on his tablet. Michael has made a good deal of progress since he first began his training and continues to improve his abilities every day.


Mike was about to start an internship when he realized that he was lacking in a skill that would be critical to his success: Microsoft Excel. While he had experience in inputting data into data sheets, he did not have much practice in sorting and manipulating information in Excel and he knew that he would need to know how to do this in his new role. Mike’s coach, Sandy, has helped him by showing him the basics of Excel and pointing him to useful tutorials on Youtube that he could use to further improve upon his newfound skills. The combination of the coaching he received at the Tech Coaching Center and his self-teaching gave Michael the knowledge and confidence he needed to succeed in his new internship.


In order for Vanessa to find a job in the community, she needed to learn how to navigate online job boards and apply to jobs online. She wanted to find a job that was a right fit for her skills and that was within her geographic area. Thanks to her coach, Sandy, Vanessa was able to find, apply for and secure a job at a local Homegoods store. Sandy has also helped Vanessa to balance her own checkbook, manage her finances and live more independently. QUOTE: “Tech Coaching helped me find a job and become more independent.” — Vanessa


Jess signed up for the tech coaching through her chapter to acquire skills that she knows would be valuable in her job. Her coach, Ashley, created a step-by-step training on how to use the scanning device Jess uses at her work and how to input items electronically into her company’s computer system. Through the training program, she has grown more comfortable with using the scanner and mastered how to store digital documents she’s scanned on her computer. She plans to continue her training to gain additional skills and become more independent as she seeks to further her career. QUOTE: “I liked having Ashley teach me.” — Jess


Jack loves to learn and is constantly seeking opportunities to acquire news skills. He signed up for the training program to use technology to navigate public transportation in his city. The bus enables Jack to get from home to his day programs, work, and internships. Jack’s coach, Sandy, introduced him to a transportation app that enables him to see when the bus is coming and what route gets him where he needs to be. With the support of his coach and the app, Jack is able to manage his own transportation to and from work and other programs. The goal is to eventually expand Jack’s skill set so he can travel to other places. The only complaint Jack has with his new life as a commuter is that he wishes the bus would be on time.


Nick has always had a passion for videography and computers. He signed up for tech coaching to turn this passion into a practical skill. Nick began his journey with his coach, David, to create and edit videos. Filming and editing videos is an intricate, multi-step process that can be quite involved. Nick’s learning style requires that tasks be broken down and for directions to be clearly defined for him to succeed. Over a five-week training, David supported Nick in learning the basics of creating and editing videos while setting him up on a path toward mastering these skills. By the end of the program, Nick could run the camera and audio for a film and even work a little with editing equipment. Nick takes great pride in what he learned and accomplished with the support of his coach. He has already shared his desire to return next summer to expand his knowledge base in this field.