Marcus: The Opportunity to be Independent

Marcus is outgoing and bright, but his life can be challenging. He uses a power wheelchair, and he is unable to see things clearly unless they are relatively close to the eyes. He enjoyed using his computer, but relied on someone else to do certain steps. It was important to Marcus and his employability that he learn to use adaptive technology so he could use the computer independently, without assistance.

At the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss, Marcus was given the training and support to be independent. Over the course of two-weeks, he received individualized training in adaptive technology, independent living skills, employment readiness, and he refined his wheelchair mobility skills.

Marcus learned about adaptive software, including how ZoomText software magnifies the computer screen and reads the text on the screen out loud. He also learned about Dragon Naturally Speaking, software that can be used for dictating and giving keyboard commands.

Through additional training in his home, Marcus honed his technology skills. He learned to navigate a computer, create documents using Microsoft Office Word, e-mail with Microsoft Outlook, and use Google to do internet research.

Marcus can now use his computer independently. He lives with his family in Erhard, MN and would like to work at the YMCA.

Marcus described Lighthouse experience:

I am learning how to be more independent with things;

I met a lot of good friends here learning how to use Dragon on a computer;

I have cooked some things here at the Lighthouse like a hamburger;

I learned how to get on a bus here in Duluth;

I went swimming with one of my teachers and she taught me different things that I can do in the pool.