WAXAHACHIE — Providing a new found sense of independence to partial sight, low vision, legally blind and totally blind civilians since 1995, Computers for the Blind [CFTB] furnishes civilians with gently used desktops, laptops and other computer software and hardware. In collaboration with CFTB, SAGU’s IT department and the Waxahachie Lions Club donated 70 computers to the nonprofit organization Oct. 5.
Executive Director of CFTB David Jeppson visited and spoke at a Lions Club meeting in regards to CFTB in Dec. of 2015, and sparked the interest of SAGU’s Director of Campus Software Mark Walker.
“David Jeppson came to speak with the Waxahachie Lions Club and the Lions Club Vice President Terry Phillips and I sat there discussed and considered the idea. It would get the Lions Club some press, be for a good cause and at the same time would be a good use for the scrap computers,” Walker explained.
Every three to four years SAGU replaces computers across campus to keep up with conventional technology.
“I always hated scrapping the computers because they’re still good. We try to keep the technology as good as we can so we pass them along,” Walker said.
As stated in the press release, “The computers SAGU donated will be installed with the appropriate software to fit the specific needs of visually challenged individuals. The hard drives will be wiped clean and audio recognition or magnification software will be installed.”
Software such as Nonvisual Desktop Access, Marvelsoft, Freedom Scientific, Microsoft, American Precision, Mozilla, Google, Gutenberg Project, Carolina Road Software as well as various CFTB help files are installed. Within one to two weeks, the computers are shipped to recipients who qualify.
“We already have some more computers we are collecting to fix up and donate again,” Walker said.
Jeppson mentioned in the press release that CFTB is “extremely grateful for companies that donate and generous organizations like SAGU and the Lions Club that give to our organization.”
CFTB receives an average of 80 to 100 computers monthly and has donated over 9,000 computers to the visually challenged throughout the nation.
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL