Thomas started training senior citizens in technology — starting with the computer mouse — back in 2004. Since then OATS has trained 7,000 seniors using multi-week courses on topics from computer basics up to social networking and digital photography.
For anyone who hasn’t tried to teach or fix a computer problem for a parent or grandparent, believe me this is tough stuff. My grandmother recently emailed a scan of an article to my mother. My mother enlarged it by printing it out then rescanned it and emailed it back to my grandmother who printed it. This took three days and I’m pretty sure there were alternative solutions to this modern magnifying glass. To be fair, Thomas also said that he has a hard time teaching his parents, but can teach other people’s parents without issue.
Regardless, this work requires intense patience and perseverance. Thousands of NY seniors are better off because of OATS — they can email, get family pictures, and, in my case, forward on a dozen conspiracy theories a day.