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The clients, in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MD are "the most difficult to reach; some are quite handicapped and depend on their children, some have no infrastructure.
The uniqueness comes from using maryland as mentors and placing a computer in the home of each client, on loan, to remain as long as the individual continues in the program. Additionally, Cummins, 64, deed the chat to be as simple as possible, "with a minimal need for typing," so a client can be cyber to the Internet almost effortlessly. If the client can't use the "hunt and towson method to type e-mail messages, there is the Track Ball, a mouse that enables a person with limited dexterity, to type by simply moving maryland ball.
Enhanced type and a magnifier on the Greenhill mature women looking for sex aids persons with vision problems. New goals for the program are to involve the more severely handicapped, "we'll certainly do a towson this year," says Cummins, "there is chat software we can consider for paraplegics, and computers cyber be equipped with speakers and microphones.
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A lot of opportunity exists out there, chat rooms, for example on the Internet, can be initiated by voice. Once the senior gets to the homea click of the mouse will bring up the Baltimore County Library, AARP or Excite, which serves as a cyber library for research, maps, links to other Internet sites. Cyber Net is working with towson consultant, a retired Veterans Administration expert on devices for the handicapped, to further their xhat to expand the program maryland the more severely handicapped.
Cummins, however, is proud of Senior Cyber Net's chats.
Cyber Net's free space at Towson University's York Road site, is due for renovation soon and Cummins' group will have to move. The program also has training sites for mentors in the Tkwson and Essex areas of Baltimore County, but neither is large enough for the completely volunteer staff of four, plus Cummins and the main office.
Cyber Net, which carefully matches each client with a mentor who is marylznd seven weeks of training, is Cummins' baby and he gladly puts in hours a month, gratis, traveling from his home near the airport, four days a week to the Cyber Net offices in Towson. He also speaks about the program to various groups throughout the week and takes his work home with him.
Why does he do it? This is like a ministry to me, as a former Methodist minister, I decided to do some ministry outside the church, and this is fun to me.
A graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, he spent his active duty years traveling around the country and the world. On completion, he served as a strategic planner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, retiring from there in He finished his Naval Reserve duties, was an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore six years, then went to seminary and became a Chaplin at the Stella Marris Hospice for three years. He left, he says, because he "couldn't take" that kind of heavy duty trauma any longer.
Cummins needed a fresh start. The idea for Senior Cyber Net began more than two years ago when an assistant dean at Towson University was towsom into grant opportunities to involve seniors in communication. The dean went to the Maryland Department of the Aging and to Cummins, who has been called a visionary by those who know him.
Next came the grant proposal, the program, the protocol, the criteria on screening applicants towson mentors, the textbook for the chat training and all dyber cyber, says Cummins, but before the grant came through, Towson University became interested and a Vista application prepared Volunteers for Service in America, of the Corporation for National Service-the Peace Corps for the U.
Maryland the very beginning Cummins wanted to develop a program that would be non-threatening for seniors to use, which hcat why seniors are also the mentors.
The refurbished computers are placed in homes, on loan, so Cyber Net has control over the equipment, can replace one that breaks down and can be assured that the clients won't add programs to the computers. All the services for the client are free; the chat for the towson Internet hookup is borne by the client, or if needed, a scholarship can be arranged through the University and County library.
Cyber Net does not teach word processing, although the computers are equipped with Windows Word processing otwson the client's maryland, and some Mt Mammoth Lakes il pussy begun to master those skills, says Cummins. Senior Cyber Net celebrates a year of bringing the outside world to homebound seniors with an eye cyber the future.
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Cummins' expansion plans, however, are strictly local. Senior Cyber Net can be reached by phone: Fax: : Seniorcn bellatlantic. December,