O’odham Action News
In late 2019, the Information Technology department of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community set up a booth at the October Senior Breakfast meeting to see if seniors would be interested in learning the basics of using a computer. Of the 82 in attendance, 42 of the seniors signed up to start the process with IT. On January 24, the first computer class took place at Two Waters.
IT Customer Care Supervisor Alana Osife gave insight on what the turnout meant to the department. “[For] our first class, 20 seniors came, and we talked about the basics of the computer hardware,” Osife said. “We showed them some online mouse and keyboard exercises, [and we] also [reviewed] some brief internet safety, such as what to be aware of online and what to look out for. That was a really good turnout.”
Osife explained that last month IT asked Saddleback Communications to come out and give a presentation on all the services they provide, including the life alert and telephone assistance programs.
“They have quite a few services that are technology related, and our goal is to ensure that companies we invite to speak to the seniors are technology related,” Osife said.
Patricia King was among the 20 participants in the February IT class. “I wanted to know more about the Community services as far as computer operations,” King said. “I thought since IT puts on the presentation, it would be good to come. It’s an opportunity for us seniors to learn more about how computers work and all the extras that go with it. I think that’s something really important for us because our younger people, they’re moving on to the big world of internet, all those things. It’s good for us to know those things too. It’s harder for us to learn because we’re ‘old school’; that’s how I feel. But we can learn, we just have to take our time and [have] someone to take time with us and explain things.”
Osife said open lab services are provided by IT to help with specific questions seniors may have. “One [lab] is the Salt River Tribal Library computer lab; they allow us to come twice a month,” Osife said. “We’re there from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays. Then at the Lehi Community Building, we’re there one Wednesday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For those who have more advanced questions, it’s good to bring them to the lab so we can work with them one-on-one. If they have questions on how to use their mobile phones, their tablets, iPads or laptops, they can bring them in and we can work with them one-on-one with that. If they want to learn something specific, like how to create an Excel spreadsheet, we can show them how to do that.”
Transportation is provided by Senior Services. Snacks and drinks are provided during each class session. Goodie bags with cups, a notebook, a pen and letter opener were given to the seniors.
For more information on the next computer class or to schedule your one-on-one lab session, contact Senior Services at (480) 362-6350.
IT department would like to thank the Senior Services Department, Community Recreation Services Department, and the Salt River Tribal Library who were key in helping us provide the computer class and labs for the seniors. Senior Services promotes educational seminar opportunities for Community Seniors and worked together with IT to bring forth this opportunity for the Community seniors. Senior Services provide transportation and pick up services for seniors for the computer classes at Two Waters. Seniors are encouraged to sign-up with Senior Services transportation services if a ride is needed. Also, Senior Services department have added the Two Waters computer class dates to the Senior Recreation and Adult disability calendars for the upcoming months. Community Recreation and Salt River Tribal Library have reserved the library’s computer lab specifically for our seniors open lab times. Again, we appreciate your support in working together to provide the fun of learning technology opportunity for our Community seniors.