WATCH

On March 7, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) celebrated the grand opening of the Senior Planet Exploration Center, located in Manhattan at 127 West 25th Street.

The invitation-only event featured a reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by a one-hour panel discussion, “Closing the Technology Gap for Older Americans.”

Senior Planet live-streamed the panel discussion (we’ll be replacing the live-stream video above with a full-event version on Monday), and people also followed on Twitter, tweeting questions to the panel members. To see the discussion on Twitter, go to #seniorplanet.

The Discussion 

The panel focused on how, as a nation, we can ensure that seniors have the access to technology they so desperately need.

Among the issues that the panel explored are:

  • The importance of technology for seniors
  • The development of technologies that can help seniors live productive and active lives
  • What it will take to close the senior technology gap by 2020
  • The role of business, government and civil society in driving technology innovation for seniors

While technology has transformed nearly all aspects of Americans’  lives, until recently older people have been digitally excluded. Technology adoption rates by those over 60 lag behind the general population’s, and this “technology gap” can be detrimental to the well-being of seniors on many levels.

The Panelists

  • Walter Woods, vice president, AARP Foundation
  • Neil Harrison, senior director, Sony Corporation of America
  • Judith Graham, contributing reporter, the New York Times
  • Cathleen Sims DeVito, director of government relations, Time Warner Cable

The moderator is Tom Kamber, executive director, OATS.

Fee free to leave your comments below!

8 comments
  • ralph feingold
    REPLY

    I UP GRADED MY SYSTEM I LOST MY
    INFORMATION I HAVE NOT MY CALENDER FOR THE WEEK CAN YOU PLEASE BRING ME UP TO DATE & PUT ME IN TO YOUR SYSTEM THANK YOU
    Ralph Feingold

    • Barbara, Senior Planet editor
      REPLY

      Hi Ralph, I’m so sorry about your computer woes! Have you not been receiving the weekly events calendar in your email? We can definitely check that we have you in the system. You could also take a look in your email spam folder, just in case.
      Let us know if you have any other questions.

  • Garrison Phillips
    REPLY

    The opening of the beautiful and serviceable Senior Planet space in Manhattan was truly a landmark for me, an eighty-three year old senior and early student of the OATS training program. I grew up during the Great Depression and families took care of families back then. So different today and what Tom Kamber and the staff of OATS are doing is calling attention to so many aging issues which begins with the teaching of the ever growing complexity of the Internet and cell phones, etc. Their efforts deserve all the attention that OATS and Senior Planet are receiving – and a medal or two for their amazing success. My grateful thanks to you.

  • June Mansfield
    REPLY

    Congratulations on the opening of the Senior Planet Exploration Center. Can you tell me whether your center has incoporated any kind of assistive technologies such as screen readers, voice over, or screen enlargement programs for seniors with vision loss that are unable to access computers using convential print size.

    • Kimberly
      REPLY

      Dear June,
      We have the most advanced software available, a customized sound system, and are also working with partners and trusted mentors as consultants as well as companies that develop assistive technologies to explore the most cutting edge technology that is out there. Senior Planet Exploration Center will hopefully become a place where these companies will donate materials and do tests so we can help develop new technologies and match our members to the best ones that are out there. If you have any suggestions or connections, please feel free to send them our way!

  • Graceful Aging
    REPLY

    Kudos to all who devoted the energy and effort to opening the Senior Planet Exploration Center. As we age I want tech that I can understand. I want tech to respect, not control, my life. I want bigger buttons to accommodate unsteady fingers. I want print and pictures that I can see and read. I want an easy way to start over without wreaking havoc on my device. I want an evident purpose to my increasing use of technology. I want to be treated as part of the main stream and not as a special older group. Good tech is ageless.

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