AT & Computer Trainings/Tutorials/Podcast Information
Disability Information and Referral Center (DIRC)
Guide to Resources on Learning Differences
Selected Materials on Learning Differences
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
This fact sheet provides information on organizations and individuals who provide assistive technology and computer technical assistance and training. Services included within are not part of the Texas Talking Book Program or the Disability Information and Referral Center and their listing do not imply endorsement.
Access Technology Institute
Offers online training, both fee-based and free, on Windows, Outlook, Excel, and other programs
Also offers trainer certification courses
Accessible Technology Coalition
Articles and training on accessibility for people with disabilities.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) AccessWorld
A monthly e-zine about technology and low vision / blindness
American Printing House for the Blind
Sells computer tutorials
Call for information on specific titles and prices.
Assistive Technology Blog
Also features a podcast available on I-tunes.
Blind Access Training
Offers classes in screen readers, office applications, i-devices, and scanning software
Group and individual classes available
Eligible individuals include people with vision impairments, family members, and professionals. Training is provided at an hourly rate of $29.99, or by purchasing a course. Training is offered by telephone, Skype, or online.
Carroll Tech / Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton, MA
Offers both self-paced and instructor-led online courses
Some of the classes are designed for computer teachers and some for persons learning to use a computer. There are general classes in learning basic programs, and more advanced classes such as learning Duxbury Braille and Braille graphics programs. Some courses are free, but most have a cost. Registration is required, and interested persons have to pass a 50 question basic skills exam. Classes are available nationwide, not limited to Massachusetts residents.
CAVI (Cisco Academy for the Visually Impaired)
Online technology school for persons who are vision impaired. Classes range from intro to computers to more advanced topics such as hardware and software systems, troubleshooting, and repair. Classes are $150 for individuals and $500 for organizations. Applications and a brief phone -interview are required.
Cool Blind Tech
News and podcasts
This is a consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia that provides assistive technology consulting, teaching and support to the blindness rehabilitation industry on Apple devices and Macintosh computers. Group classes are conducted on site, but one-on-one assistance is available by phone, Skype, or chat.
Features news and information about assistive technology, as well as periodic podcasts
An e-mail newsletter called Top Tech Tidbits is also available
Hadley School for the Blind
Offers online courses in assistive technology, Internet, Excel, and word processing
All classes through Hadley are free
Indiana Adaptive Technology Project
Offers many in-state services
Site also features links to various podcasts
Lighthouses for the Blind
Not all lighthouses for the blind offer computer classes, but some do. Some provide free classes, while others charge a fee. This is not an exhaustive list. Information on specific lighthouses in Texas is provided below (refer to pages 8-9). This site was last updated in August of 2013.
Microsoft Accessibility Technical Support
Agents are available to assist people with disabilities who need help with screen readers, screen magnifiers, and speech recognition programs. Chat function available as well.
Microsoft: Accessibility Tutorials
Offers free online tutorials on the accessibility options of Windows, Office, and Internet programs. Here the word “tutorial” is used more loosely; basically these are more like “help” pages.
National Library Service (NLS)
The National Library Service maintains regional and sub-regional libraries in every state, plus in the US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The purpose of the National Library Service is to provide books, magazines, and other reading material in alternative formats to individuals with visual, learning, and physical disabilities. Some libraries also provide computer and assistive technology training and demonstrations. Call the phone number listed above to be connected to an NLS library near you, or use the link to search by state for regional and sub-regional libraries. Restrictions may apply, such as classes only available for National Library Service patrons. A National Library Service FAQ, which outlines eligibility requirements, is available here: www.loc.gov/nls/faq.html
National Braille Press
Materials available in Braille, on CD-ROM, and by download
Call for specific titles and prices
National Federation of the Blind
International Braille and Technology Center
410-659-9314 ext. 5 (leave a message)
Offers telephone consultations for questions about assistive technology and adaptive software for computers.
Features podcasts and an interactive blog
Very basic online tutorial (print is fairly large)
Teaches someone how to use a mouse, scroll, type in a text box, etc.
Independent Living Centers
Able Center (Odessa) 432-580-3439, http://ablecenterpb.org/default.aspx - computer classes for beginners
ARCIL (Austin) 512-832-6349, www.arcil.com - computer classes as part of independent living and life skills training
Round Rock 512-828-4624,
San Marcos: 512-396-5790
Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (Bryan): 979-776-5505, http://bvcil.org – TATP AT demonstration site (see below)
Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living (Corpus Christi): 361-883-8461, www.cbcil.org – assistive technology training as part of an independent living skills training program – TATP AT demonstration site (see below)
Crockett Resource Center for Independent Living: 936-544-2811,
www.crockettresourcecenter.org/ - offer basic computer training
Palestine: 903-729-7505, www.palestineresourcecenter.org/ -
Offers training for Microsoft Word and Excel, as well as Internet use
Palestine is also a TATP AT demonstration site (see below)
Disability in Action (Abilene): 325-672-5460
TATP AT demonstration site (see below)
East Texas Center for Independent Living (Tyler): 903-581-7542, www.etcil.org – assistive technology training as part of an independent living skills training program - TATP computer demonstration site (see below)
Heart of Texas Independent Living Center (Belton): 254-933-7487, www.hoctilc.org – Computer and assistive technology training - TATP portable computer demonstration site (see below)
Houston Center for Independent Living (HCIL): 713-974-4621, www.coalitionforbarrierfreeliving.com/ - computer and AT demonstrations, basic computer skills – TATP portable computer demonstration site (see below)
Angleton (Brazoria County): 979-849-7060 – TATP computer demonstration site (see below)
Sugar Land (Fort Bend County): 281-980-2219
Life / Run (Lubbock): 806-795-5433, www.liferun.org - basic computer skills training
Mounting Horizons Center for Independent Living (Galveston): 409-356-4809, http://mhcil.org/ - Classes in basic computing, and applications such as documents and spreadsheets
Panhandle ILC (Amarillo): 806-374-1400, www.panhandleilc.org/ - computer lab available to learn or improve computer skills and receive training in adaptive software
REACH of Dallas: 214-630-4796, www.reachcils.org/ - computer lab available to learn or improve computer skills
Fort Worth: 817-870-9082
Plano: 972-398-1111 – TATP portable computer demonstration site (see below)
RISE (Beaumont): 409-832-2599, www.risecil.org - computer classes available, TATP computer demonstration site (see below)
VAIL Valley Association for Independent Living (McAllen): 956-668-8245,
http://vailrgv.org/ - TATP portable computer demonstration site (see below)
VOLAR (El Paso): 915-591-0800, www.volarcil.org – independent living skills training
Lighthouses for the Blind:
Austin 512-442-2329, www.austinlighthouse.org, offers both beginner keyboarding classes and programs that provide instruction on Windows, Word, Excel, Internet, email, and accessibility programs
Corpus Christi (South Texas) 361-883-6553, www.stlb.net, offers classes in accessibility programs and basic computer skills
Dallas: 214-821-2375, www.dallaslighthouse.org, computer and accessibility programs training
El Paso: 915-532-4495, www.lighthouse-elpaso.com,
Through the McKee Assistive Technology Center, individuals can receive instruction on basic computing as well as AT software programs such as screen reading and magnification programs, note taking devices, and Braille output devices.
East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind 903-593-3111, www.etlb.org, Offers free classes for all ages on assistive technology and computer programs including screen reading, magnification software, and Microsoft Office certification.
Houston 713-284-8445, www.houstonlighthouse.org, offers basic computer skills training through the Office Skills Training program, and assistive technology training through the Job Readiness Vocational Program
San Antonio 210-533-5195, www.salighthouse.org, provides training on basic computer skills and programs as well as assistive technology
San Antonio's Community Family Resource and Learning Division
Location of classes:
Bob Ross Center
2219 Babcock Road
San Antonio, Texas 78229
Computer classes for adults with visual impairments that teach basic computer skills and the use of adaptive software
Source: San Antonio Low Vision Club website
Texas Assistive Technology Program (TATP)
Texas Center for Disability Studies
800-828-7839 or 512-232-0740
TATP partners with organizations in Texas to provide three types of centers: assistive technology demonstration sites, computer demonstration sites, and portable (mobile) computer demonstration sites. Some of these organizations are already included in this document. In order to avoid duplication, independent living centers and lighthouses for the blind that also serve as TATP demonstration sites are mentioned in those sections.
Other AT demonstration sites:
Ability Connections (Dallas): 214-351-2500
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas (Austin): 512-637- 7520
Goodwill Industries: (Fort Worth): 817-332-7866 X 2069
Helping Hands (Amarillo): 806-331-7202
Paso Del Norte Children’s Development Center
(El Paso): 915-544-8484
Easter Seals of Greater Houston: 713-838-9050
Portable computer demonstration sites: See independent living centers above.
The owner will do technology training via phone or Skype (web cam) for $30 per hour.
Uses Skype and JAWS to do trainings, including i-phone training
He also speaks Spanish and French. He charges $20 per hour.
Jeanine K. Lineback
Has started her own training company called TekSolutions
Offers training via Skype, JAWS tandem, or Window Eyes equivalent
Provides training on AT, Microsoft Office, word processing (Mac), general computer navigation and maintenance, and social networking
She charges $25 per hour for telephone or Skype sessions, and will work on nights or weekends. She can also provide technology instruction in Spanish.
She provides instruction by phone and online, offering assistance with Windows, Word, Outlook and assistive technology programs such as JAWS, Window Eyes, and Zoomtext.
Portal Tutoring / Ann K. Parsons
Online classes in learning computers, adaptive programs, and Braille
Fees are charged by the hour.
This is a tutorial divided into six modules, all of which are available in downloadable, pdf format. The tutorial is designed for sighted persons who are providing instruction to persons who are visually impaired.
List from Fred’s Head database for videos about AT and Braille:
Oasis is an organization designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles for seniors. Texas Chapter:
San Antonio: 210-236-5954, www.oasisnet.org/SanAntonioTX/LocationsandContacts.aspx
Senior Activity Centers:
Persons can call 211 for information in their area, or use the phone book or directory assistance to locate local centers. These classes may only teach basic computing skills, and are not specifically geared to persons with low vision or blindness.
877-231-9286 or 408-532-8460
Voice-activated service that allows users to surf the web or access email by dialing an assigned telephone number
NOTE: The Disability Information and Referral Center (DIRC) also houses information on education, financial aid, scholarships, employment, social security, assistive technology, independent living, specific disabilities such as visual impairments and learning disabilities, and other topics related to transition. Books are available in print, and may be loaned for a period of five weeks. DVD’s are available on loan for three weeks. The borrower is responsible for the return postage. Copies of vertical file materials and other guides are available free of charge.
Disability Information and Referral Center (DIRC)
Talking Book Program (TBP)
PO Box 12927
Austin TX 78711-2927
AT & Computer Trainings in PDF
If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer, you must first download it and install it on your own computer before you can print out the PDF version of the Talking Book Program application.
Follow these links to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader: